Transportation equipment activity led Canadian manufacturing sales to rise 0.6 percent to $49.9 billion in December, Statistics Canada reported Thursday. It marked the fifth increase in six months and \"monthly sales for seven of 21 manufacturing industries have reached or surpassed levels recorded in October 2008\" when the economic downturn began, StatsCan said. \"Sales increased in 12 of 21 industries representing about two-thirds of Canadian manufacturing,\" the report said. Transportation overall had the largest gains of any industry, with a 3.7 percent increase in sales to $8.5 billion. Within that sector, sales by motor vehicle manufacturers rose 2.9 percent in December to $4.3 billion, the highest monthly sales level since November 2007. Sales in the motor vehicle parts industry rose 5.5 percent to $1.9 billion, the agency said.