Manufacturing sales fell 1.5 per cent in July, StatCan says
But sales of plastic and rubber machinery rose in July.
Manufacturing sales fell 1.5% in July to $59.6 billion following a 3.6 % increase in June, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, although July sales for plastics and rubber machinery were up.
The agency reported the drop in sales came as sales fell in 12 of 21 industries in July, while sales in constant dollars fell 1.7%, which indicates a lower volume of goods sold.
Sales were down in the wood product industry, (-21.8%), aerospace product and parts (-19.0%), miscellaneous (-12.1%) and petroleum and coal product (-2.3%) industries. The declines were partially offset by higher sales in the motor vehicles (+13.5%), primary metal (+3.9%) and motor vehicle parts (+7.6%) industries, the agency said. On a year-over-year basis, total sales were up 12.2% in July, StatCan said.
Motor vehicle sales increased 13.5% to $3.4 billion in July, the third consecutive monthly gain, while sales of motor vehicle parts were up 7.6%. The motor vehicle industry was less impacted by the summer shutdowns this July as auto assembly plants tried to avoid further production cuts due to the semiconductor part shortage. Consequently, sales on a seasonally adjusted basis increased in July, StatCan said.
Primary metal sales rose 3.9% to $5.6 billion in July, the 15th consecutive month-over-month increase and the highest level on record. Higher prices were responsible for the gain as sales in constant dollars edged up 0.1%. Prices for basic and semi-finished iron or steel products increased 5.9% in July and were up 50.9% year over year.
Sales of plastic and rubber (+3.3%), machinery (+1.9%) and food (+0.4%) products also rose in July.
Manufacturing sales decreased in six provinces in July, led by Quebec and British Columbia. Ontario reported the largest sales increase. And manufacturing sales on a seasonally adjusted basis fell in 7 of 12 census metropolitan areas covered by the survey in July, led by Montreal and Hamilton. Sales in Toronto increased the most, StatCan said.