OTTAWA—Transportation equipment led manufacturing sales to an increase of 1.9 per cent to $47.5 billion in March, according to Statistics Canada.
Sales for the first quarter—$141.6 billion—were the highest since before the economic downturn.
The transportation equipment industry was up 6.3 per cent, accounting for just over half of the gain.
Sales also rose in the machinery and paper industries.
Higher sales were reported in 15 of 21 industries, representing 80 per cent of total manufacturing.
Manufacturing sales in the first quarter increased four per cent compared with the last three months of 2010.
Sales have advanced for seven consecutive quarters.
In March, nine provinces posted higher sales than in February, led by Quebec and Alberta.