Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Manufacturing sales continue sharp descent

March 19, 2009
By Alyssa Dalton

OTTAWA, Ont. – Manufacturing sales decreased 5.4 percent to $41.7 billion in January, falling to the lowest level in almost 10 years, according to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for January 2009.

This drop can be attributed mostly to the record decreases reported by
the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries. Excluding motor
vehicles and parts and accessories, manufacturing sales decreased a
more moderate 1.2 percent compared with December.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales, which are measured in 2002 prices,
fell 6.4 percent to $38.1 billion in January; the sharpest decrease in
constant dollar sales since 1997.

Sales in 14 of 21 manufacturing industries decreased in January,
accounting for about three-fifths of total sales. The transportation
equipment industry reported its largest monthly decline on record,
falling 27.3 percent in January. Most of the decline was due to lower
sales by motor vehicle (-46.3 percent) and motor vehicle parts
manufacturers (-27.1 percent). Primary metal manufacturers, which have
seen prices decrease steadily since August 2008, also reported lower
sales in January, falling 10.5 percent.


But it’s not all bad news. Some sectors had a slight increase in
manufacturing sales in January, following the decreases reported by 20
of 21 industries in December. Petroleum and coal product manufacturers
reported a 7.2 percent increase compared with December. This was the
first gain in seven months, as industry prices stabilized in January
after falling about 50 percent between July and December 2008. In
addition, food manufacturers saw sales increase by 4.4 percent after
three months of declines.

In January, six provinces reported lower manufacturing sales. Ontario
reported the largest decrease, with sales falling 11.3 percent.
Manufacturing sales in Ontario fell $2.3 billion dollars, mostly as a
result of a record drop in motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts sales.
Motor vehicle manufacturing sales decreased 46.9 percent or $1.5
billion, and motor vehicle parts sales decreased 27.2 percent or $367

The Atlantic provinces posted mostly positive results, with sales up
2.3 percent in the region compared with December. Alberta also managed
a slight gain in January, the first since September 2008. Sales rose
0.6 percent on a slight rebound in the chemical and petroleum product

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