Manufacturing sales fell one per cent to $49.9 billion in May: StatsCan
Statistics Canada says the decline came as sales of motor vehicles and petroleum and coal products dropped; but sales of plastics and rubber products increased.
Manufacturing sales fell 1.0 per cent to $49.9 billion in May, a new report from Statistics Canada said, a decline based primarily on falling sales of motor vehicles and petroleum and coal products.
But sales of plastics and rubber products increased.
“Motor vehicle sales fell 4.2% to $5.6 billion in May, while sales of motor vehicle parts declined 2.3%,” the report said. “The declines in both industries were partly as a result of supply interruptions associated with the earthquake in Japan in April.”
Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry were down 2.2% to $4.1 billion in May, the report continued, following gains in March and April. “The decline was entirely attributable to lower volumes of product sold, as prices for the industry rose 6.4%, according to the Industrial Product Price Index,” it said. “The decrease in volumes partly reflected the effect of the Fort McMurray wildfire and evacuation. Maintenance and turnaround work at some facilities also lowered sales.”
Partially offsetting these declines was a 4.6% advance in production in the aerospace product and parts industry. “Gains were widespread in the aerospace industry and were partly due to the increase in the value of the US dollar relative to the Canadian dollar,” StatsCan said.
Sales of plastics and rubber products (+3.2%), food (+0.8%), and wood products (+2.6%) also rose in May, the agency reported.
Sales were down in five provinces in May, with Ontario registering the largest decline. “In Ontario, sales dropped 1.4% to $24.5 billion, reflecting lower sales in 13 of 21 industries,” StatsCan said. “Three-quarters of the provincial decline was attributable to a 4.5% decrease in motor vehicle sales. Sales in the motor vehicle parts industry were down 2.4% to $2.3 billion. Lower sales in the chemical industry (-3.7%) and the computer and electronic product (-5.8%) industry also contributed to the provincial decrease.”
Manufacturing sales in Alberta fell 2.0% in May to $5.0 billion, the agency continued, following two consecutive monthly gains. “A 12.2% drop in the petroleum and coal product industry, partly reflecting the effect of the Fort McMurray wildfire and evacuation, was the main contributor to the provincial decline,” the report said. “Lower non-metallic mineral product sales (-16.1%) also contributed to the decline. A 5.4% rise in the chemical industry and a 6.2% gain in the wood product industry partly offset these decreases.”
In British Columbia and Nova Scotia, sales were up in both the durable and non-durable goods industries, offsetting a small portion of the overall national decline.