Manufacturing sales show sharp decline
Manufacturing sales declined eight per cent to $44.2 billion in December, reflecting almost equal decreases in both...
Manufacturing sales declined eight per cent to $44.2 billion in December, reflecting almost equal decreases in both volume and price, according to the latest numbers from Statistics Canada. This was the largest monthly percentage decline since the start of the current series in January 1992.
Declines were widespread in December, with sales falling in 20 of 21 manufacturing industries. The printing and related support activities industry recorded the only increase.
In the motor vehicle industry, sales declined 14.2 per cent to $3.2 billion, and parts manufacturing fell 17.6 per cent as parts manufacturers struggled with a sharply reduced demand from the auto assembly plants.
All provinces, with the exception of Prince Edward Island, posted lower manufacturing sales in December, ranging from a drop of 14.2 per cent in both Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan to a 2.4 per cent decrease in Manitoba.
In Ontario, manufacturing sales declined 9.2 per cent to $20.3 billion, with decreases in transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products and primary metals accounting for nearly three-quarters of the provincial decline.
Additionally, following a 0.8 per cent decrease in November, inventory levels dropped another 1.9 per cent to $66.4 billion in December.
Unfilled orders declined 2.8 per cent to $68.7 billion in December, with aerospace products and parts orders decreasing 3.5% to $37.4 billion, while computer and electronic products were down 3.3 per cent to $4.1 billion. Excluding the aerospace industry, unfilled orders decreased 1.9% in December.
Overall, for 2008, manufacturers posted a 0.5 per cent decline in current dollar sales to $604.5 billion in 2008, the lowest level since 2005.