Manufacturing sales rose 2.6% to $49.6 billion in February 2014, the largest increase since July 2011, according to Statistics Canada.
The agency attributed most of the gain to higher sales in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal product, food, and miscellaneous manufacturing industries.
StatsCan also said the gain was broad-based, as sales rose in 14 of 21 industries, representing approximately 85% of the manufacturing sector.
“Constant dollar manufacturing sales increased 2.5%, indicating that most of the gain reflected higher sales volumes,” the agency said.
Sales of durable goods were up 3.7% to $25.1 billion, while non-durable goods sales rose 1.5% to $24.5 billion.
“Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry increased 2.9% to $7.5 billion, reaching their highest level since March 2012,” the agency said. “Most of the gain reflected a 2.5% rise in prices for the industry, as reported by the February Industrial Product Price Index.”
While seven provinces posted higher sales in February, the bulk of the gain was concentrated in Ontario. “In Ontario, sales rose 2.9% to $23.3 billion in February,” the StatsCan report said. “About half of the provincial gain stemmed from a 4.8% advance in the transportation equipment industry. Sales rose 7.1% in the primary metal industry and 5.7% in the petroleum and coal product industry. A 5.5% decline in the computer and electronic product industry offset some of the gains.”
Manufacturing sales in Newfoundland and Labrador advanced 16.2% to $592 million in February, following a 14.9% decline in January. “Sales in Newfoundland and Labrador are more volatile compared with manufacturing sales in other provinces,” the agency said.
In Manitoba, manufacturing sales rose 6.3% to $1.3 billion, reaching the highest level since July 2012, with most of the gain reflected an increase in the transportation equipment industry.
Sales in British Columbia declined 3.0% to $3.4 billion in February. “Approximately half of the provincial decline was the result of a 7.8% decrease in the wood product industry. Sales were also down in the food and machinery industries,” StatsCan said.