Canadian manufacturing sales unexpectedly rose in September, boosted by sales of petroleum and coal products, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

The 0.5 percent increase in total sales topped economists' forecasts for a 0.3 per cent decline, while volumes rose 0.7 per cent. August was downwardly revised to a gain of 1.4 per cent from a previously reported 1.6 per cent increase.

Still, the breadth of sales across sectors in September was not deep, with sales up in seven out of 21 industries, accounting for just 28.9 per cent of the manufacturing sector.

The petroleum and coal industry led the way with a 10.3 per cent increase in sales, amid higher prices and volumes.

The gain was tempered by a 0.7 per cent decline in the transportation sector as sales of motor vehicles and parts fell. Excluding vehicles, total manufacturing sales were up 1.4 per cent.

Overall new orders declined by 1.7 per cent after a strong gain in August and as there was less demand in the aerospace and vehicles industries.