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GM reports higher Canadian auto sales for May

MONTREAL, June 1 (Reuters) - General Motors Co on Thursday reported it sold 31,149 vehicles in Canada last month, a 36 percent rise compared with a year earlier, fueled by demand for crossovers and light trucks.

The company added that was its best performance for May in eight years. It contrasted with a 16.4 percent drop in sales in May 2016 versus the year-earlier period.

In April, total Canadian auto sales declined for the first time in 2017.

However, GM reported the sale of 30,948 vehicles in April, an increase of 16 per cent over the same month a year earlier.

About 1.97 million vehicles were sold in Canada last year, a record full-year high, due to higher consumer demand for pickups and SUVS.

Scotiabank senior economist Carlos Gomes forecast in April that Canadian auto sales would decline slightly in 2017 to about 1.94 million units. (Reporting By Allison Lampert; Editing by Jim Finkle and W Simon)