Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales increased 2.1 per cent to $58.0-billion in March, boosted by the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, and primary metal industries.
Economists had expected a 1.1 per cent increase for the month, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.
Sales were up in 12 of 21 industries, representing 56.4 per cent of the Canadian manufacturing sector.
Sales of transportation equipment increased 4.5 per cent to $11.1-billion in March, helped by a 6.5 per cent increase in motor vehicle sales.
The petroleum and coal product industry reported sales rose 8.2 per cent to $6.2-billion, while primary metal sales climbed 5.3 per cent to $4.4-billion.
Overall manufacturing sales rose 1.6 per cent in volume terms.