Sales fell in 11 of 21 industries, which meant declines in about 40 percent of Canada's manufacturing companies.
Sales of goods durable enough to last three years or more rose 0.4 percent in the month to $24.9 billion, while sales of non-durable goods dropped 0.7 percent to $24.6 billion, StatsCan said.
Sales in the category of miscellaneous industries have been volatile for several months. They fell 22.6 percent in August after rising 19.8 percent in July.
Food industry sales were off 1.6 percent to $7.1 billion in the month. Motor vehicle sales dropped 2.5 percent to $4.4 billion. "The decrease reflects smaller than usual gains in August following regular plant maintenance shutdowns in July," StatsCan said.
Those declines, however, were largely neutralized by a 17.8 percent gain in sales in the aerospace industry with sales hitting $1.5 billion in August after falling 17.1 percent in July.