Manufacturing sales slip 0.2% in February: StatsCan
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Factory sales were down in 10 of the 21 industries, representing 37% of the manufacturing sector; sales in motor vehicle assembly fell 5.3%, while petroleum and coal products dropped 5.0%.
Manufacturing sales in Canada fell 0.2% in February to $53.6 billion, following three consecutive monthly increases, as the motor vehicle assembly and petroleum and coal product manufacturing industries declined, a new report by Statistics Canada said.
Sales in the motor vehicle assembly industry fell 5.3% to $5.7 billion, StatsCan said, while the petroleum and coal products industry dropped 5.0% to $5.1 billion. “The decline in February was mostly attributable to fewer vehicles produced,” StatsCan said. “After removing the effect of price changes, sales in volume terms decreased 4.6% in February.” However, these decreases were largely offset by gains in the aerospace products and parts, primary metal, and machinery industries. “Once the effects of price changes are taken into consideration, sales volumes increased by 30.7%, 2.0% and 3.2% respectively in these three industries,” StatsCan said.
Sales decreased in seven provinces in February, led by Ontario. “Sales in Ontario fell 1.1% to $25.7 billion, mostly attributable to lower sales in the motor vehicle, motor vehicle parts, and petroleum and coal product industries,” StatsCan said. “These decreases were partially offset by a 5.4% increase in sales in the primary metal manufacturing industry.”
In Quebec, sales rose 2.1% to $12.9 billion in February, their highest level since July 2008 – an increase that was mainly attributable to a 27.4% gain in the transportation equipment industry.
And in Alberta, sales rose 1.4% to $5.7 billion, the fourth straight monthly increase. “The overall gain was largely driven by higher sales in the machinery (+13.6%) and fabricated metal product (+11.1%) industries,” StatsCan said.