OTTAWA&mmdash;Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 1.5 per cent last year, the first annual decrease since 2009.
That came despite momentum late in the year, as sales increased 1.2 per cent to $51.6 billion in December.
Economists had a expected a gain of 0.7 per cent for the month, according to Thomson Reuters.
The monthly increase was led by growing sales for the motor vehicle and wood products industries.
Sales fell for petroleum and coal products.
In constant dollar terms, sales rose 1.3 per cent, suggesting a higher volume of goods was sold.