Manufacturing sales stumbled in April: StatsCan
Decline was led by slowdowns in food, aerospace products and parts, and petroleum and coal products.
Canadian manufacturing sales fell 2.1 per cent to $49.8 billion in April as sales of food, aerospace products and parts, and petroleum and coal products dropped, according to new figures from Statistics Canada.
It was the third decline in four months.
Sales were lower in eight of 21 industries, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total Canadian manufacturing.
In constant dollar terms sales fell 1.0 per cent, indicating that a lower volume of goods was sold in April.
Sales fell in every province except Manitoba in April, StatsCan said, with nearly two-thirds of the national sales decline attributable to Quebec.
“Sales in Quebec were down 5.4% to $11.7 billion, the largest monthly decline in the province in two years,” StatsCan said. “Sales in April were 8.9% lower than their post-recession peak of $12.9 billion in September 2014. This was the second time in three months that provincial sales fell by more than 5%. The largest declines occurred in the aerospace and food industries.”
In Alberta, sales were down 1.7%, reflecting lower sales by machinery and petroleum and coal product manufacturers. Machinery sales in the province have fallen for four months and were at their lowest level since December 2012. “The decline in the petroleum and coal product industry was linked to partial shutdowns at refineries for turnarounds to summer fuels,” StatsCan said. “The partial shutdowns reduced sales in the industry more than in other years.”
Ontario manufacturing sales were down 0.4% in April, the third decline in four months. Over those four months, sales have fallen 4.2%. “Sales in Ontario have been trending downward since the beginning of 2015 and were 6.1% lower in April than their post-recession peak posted in July 2014,” StatsCan said. “Lower sales of food and motor vehicles were the largest contributors to the decline.”
Manitoba was the lone province to report an increase in April, with sales up 3.0%. This was the third gain in five months in the province, StatsCan said, and reflects higher sales of transportation equipment.