Canadian manufacturing sales increase 0.5 percent in August

Thursday, 14 October 2021 20:08:14 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to Statistics Canada, following a 1.2 percent decline in July, manufacturing sales in Canada increased 0.5 percent to $60.3 billion in August, on higher sales of petroleum and coal (+7.3 percent), chemicals (+6.3) and primary metals (+3.3 percent). Sales of wood products (-17.1 percent), motor vehicles (-8.7 percent) and motor vehicle parts (-10.5 percent) declined the most. On a year-over-year basis, total sales were up 14.9 percent in August.

Total inventories increased 2.1 percent to a record high $96.2 billion in August, driven by higher inventories of plastic and rubber (+14.2 percent), chemicals (+6.0 percent) and food (+2.4 percent). Higher prices for raw materials over the past year contributed to the gains in total inventories. Year over year, total inventories rose 12.3 percent. Raw materials are the largest component of manufacturing inventories, followed by finished products. Their shares in total inventories have been rising since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to higher prices.

The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.57 in July to 1.59 in August. The ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

The total value of unfilled orders increased 0.3 percent to $93.8 billion in August on higher unfilled orders of computer and electronic products (+5.3 percent), plastic and rubber (+9.1 percent), fabricated metal (+1.6 percent) and primary metal (+2.4 percent). Unfilled orders of aerospace products and parts (-0.9 percent) decreased the most.

Following two consecutive declines, the total value of new orders rose 1.4 percent to $60.6 billion in August, largely attributable to the chemical (+9.1 percent), petroleum and coal (+7.1 percent) and plastic and rubber (+11.7 percent) product industries.

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector increased from 75.7 percent in July to 77.5 percent in August on higher production.

The capacity utilization rate rose in 14 of 21 industries in August, led by transportation equipment (+10.7 percentage points), machinery (+5.0 percentage points) and chemical (+2.3 percentage points) manufacturing. The capacity utilization rate decreased in the petroleum and coal (-2.0 percentage points) and primary metal (-1.2 percentage points) industries.

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