Manufacturing sales up, ending seven-month decline
By Alyssa Dalton
OTTAWA, Ont. – Manufacturing sales increased 2.2 percent to $42.9 billion in February, the first increase since July 2008.
According to Statistics Canada’s February 2009 Monthly Survey of
Manufacturing, motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries in
Ontario were behind most of the gains, following widespread slowdowns
and shutdowns in January. In fact, motor vehicle manufacturers reported
a 34.5 percent sales gain, while parts sales were up 38.5 percent.
Despite February’s increase, however, motor vehicle and parts sales
remained approximately 40 percent below levels from a year earlier.
Excluding motor vehicles and parts and accessories, manufacturing sales
edged down 0.2 percent in February, the seventh monthly decline in a
row. Primary metal manufacturers reported a 3.5 percent increase in
February. Primary metal sales have fallen by one-third since October
2008, as a result of both price decreases and weakening global demand.
Petroleum and coal product sales decreased 3.3 percent in February,
following an 11 percent gain in January. Petroleum and coal product
sales have fallen in seven of the previous eight months. Chemical
manufacturers reported that sales fell 2.1 percent in February, the
sixth decrease in seven months. These losses were partially offset by
gains earlier in 2008, leaving chemical product sales 9.1 percent lower
than year-ago levels.
Constant dollar manufacturing sales, which are measured in 2002 prices,
rose 2.6 percent to $39.4 billion in February, the first increase in
constant dollar sales since September 2008. At the industry level,
sales in nine of 21 manufacturing industries increased in February,
accounting for about 45 percent of total sales.
Ontario led the way with a 7.2 percent increase in February following
six months of decreasing sales. The main contributors to the advance
were the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries. Even with
February’s gain, total manufacturing sales in Ontario remained almost
20 percent below year-ago levels. Newfoundland and Labrador (up 8.4
percent) and Saskatchewan (up three percent) were the other provinces
with notable gains in February, while manufacturing sales in British
Columbia declined 2.5 percent and sales in Quebec dropped 2.3 percent.
To view the full report, visit www.statcan.gc.ca.