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Canadian manufacturing sales down slightly in September, StatsCan says

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Sales in the machinery industry increased 5.5 per cent to $3.7 billion, however, which was the largest monthly increase since May 2018.

Following a slight increase in August, manufacturing sales in Canada fell 0.2% in September to $57.4 billion, new figures from Statistics Canada say.

Sales were down in 10 of 21 industries – representing 62.2% of the Canadian manufacturing sector – with the machinery sector being one of the few bright spots.

According to StatsCan, sales in the petroleum and coal product and the motor vehicle parts industries accounted for the majority of the decrease in September. However, these decreases were largely offset by increases in the machinery and motor vehicle industries, the agency said.

Sales of automotive parts fell 4.3% to $2.6 billion, StatsCan said. Some parts plants in Canada were impacted by the United Auto Workers strike in the U.S. and had to scale back or stop production towards the end of the September.


In the machinery sector, meanwhile, sales increased 5.5% to $3.7 billion. This was the largest monthly increase since May 2018. The gains in the machinery industry were widespread but more pronounced in the commercial and service machinery industry and the metalworking machinery industry, StatsCan said. Some respondents indicated that they had completed large projects that had been in progress for months. Constant dollar sales in the machinery industry were up 5.4%.

Manufacturing sales declined 1.3% to $172.0 billion in the third quarter. In volume terms, manufacturing sales fell 1.0% in the third quarter, mostly due to lower volumes sold in the petroleum and coal product (-2.4%), food (-1.5%) and chemical (-1.9%) industries.

Manufacturing sales in Toronto were down 1.2% to $10.5 billion, mainly due to lower sales of motor vehicles (-3.7%) and motor vehicle parts (-5.0%) and partly offset by higher sales in the machinery industry.


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