Canadian manufacturing sales increased in December
Canadian manufacturing sales increased 1.2% to $51.6 billion in December, their second consecutive advance, according to new figures from Statistics Canada.
Increased sales in motor vehicles and wood products represented over half of the national gain, StatsCan said. Chemical products, miscellaneous products, ship and boat building, as well as other transportation equipment also posted higher sales, which accounted for almost one-third of the overall increase. Lower sales of petroleum and coal products partly offset the gains.
“Motor vehicle sales increased 3.6% in December, the third consecutive increase for the industry,” StatsCan said. “In the fourth quarter of 2015, some motor vehicle manufacturers released redesigned models of popular vehicles. In addition, employees worked overtime to meet higher customer demand in late 2015, leading to an increase in sales.”
Seven provinces posted higher sales in December. Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario reported the largest gains, which were partly offset by lower sales in Alberta.
“Sales increased 1.7% in Quebec, reflecting gains in 11 of 21 industries,” StatsCan said. “In the wood products industry, sales rose 8.2%, as manufacturers reported higher than normal sales in December. Sales of primary metals (+3.2%) and chemicals (+5.6%) were up. In contrast to Canada as a whole, sales of petroleum and coal products increased in Quebec, contributing to the provincial gain.”
Higher sales of non-durable products led to a 16.8% increase in New Brunswick. At the same time, exports of refined petroleum products rose in December.
“Sales rose 0.7% in Ontario, a third consecutive increase,” StatsCan said. “The motor vehicle industry was mainly responsible for the gain, as sales advanced 3.6%, reflecting increased demand for redesigned vehicles. Higher sales of machinery bolstered the gain in December, with sales rising 6.5% in the industry. The bulk of the increase stemmed from industrial machinery sales. A number of respondents in this sub-industry completed large contracts in December, which led to higher sales. Sales were down 7.7% in petroleum and coal products and down 6.2% in primary metals, offsetting some of the provincial gains.”
Sales decreased 2.4% in Alberta, StatsCan also noted, the sixth consecutive decline for the province. Lower sales of petroleum and coal products were responsible for the drop in December.