Canadian manufacturing sales up 2.1 percent in March

Thursday, 16 May 2019 20:02:32 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

According to Statistics Canada, manufacturing sales increased 2.1 percent to $58.0 billion in March, following a 0.2 percent decrease in February and a 0.9 percent gain in January. The transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, and primary metal industries posted the largest gains in March.

Overall, sales were up in 12 of 21 industries, representing 56.4 percent of the Canadian manufacturing sector. In volume terms, manufacturing sales rose 1.6 percent.

Primary metal sales rose 5.3 percent to $4.4 billion in March, following two consecutive monthly declines. Widespread gains in March were led by the iron and steel mills and ferro-alloy industry, the non-ferrous metal (except aluminum) production and processing industry, and the alumina and aluminum production and processing industry.

Total inventories rose for the fourth consecutive month, up 1.0 percent to $86.9 billion, with gains in 12 of 21 industries. The inventory level in March was 9.5 percent higher than in March 2018. Monthly increases were reported in transportation equipment (+3.2 percent), chemicals (+1.9 percent), machinery (+1.3 percent) and food (+1.2 percent). These gains were partially offset by inventory declines in primary metals (-2.9 percent).

The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased to 1.50 in March from 1.52 in February. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

Unfilled orders increased 0.1 percent to $100.3 billion despite declines in 11 of 21 industries. This was the fifth gain in six months. Higher unfilled orders were reported in aerospace product and parts (+2.0 percent). Of the industries reporting a decline, the largest decrease was in machinery (-4.5 percent).

New orders were up 1.5 percent to $58.1 billion as a result of higher orders in the aerospace product and parts, petroleum and coal product and motor vehicle industries.

The unadjusted capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector increased from 78.5 percent in February to 80.7 percent in March.

Overall, the capacity utilization rate rose in 17 of 21 industries, with the petroleum and coal product and transportation equipment industries posting the largest increases in March.

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