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Manufacturing sales dip slightly in August: StatsCan


Manufacturing sales declined 2.1 percent to $40.9 billion in August following a 5.2-percent gain in July, according to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (see July, June, May and April results). The aerospace product and parts and motor vehicle industries were the major contributors to the decline in sales. Sales have been relatively level since February, after declining 20.4 percent between October 2008 and January 2009.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales fell 2.3 percent in August. As well, sales in 13 of 21 manufacturing industries decreased in August.

Production in the aerospace product and parts industry fell 35.6 percent to $1.2 billion. Production in the industry has been volatile over the past several months. Excluding the decline in aerospace, manufacturing sales decreased by 0.6 percent.

Manufacturing sales in the motor vehicle industry fell 6.3 percent to $3.1 billion. The decline in August follows a 48.8-percent gain by the industry in July.

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Miscellaneous manufacturing (–10.5%) and chemical manufacturing (–2.5%) also reported decreases.

Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry rose 7.2 percent. The increase in sales was mostly driven by higher prices, as the Industrial Product Price Index for the industry was up 5.8 percent.

Sales vary by province
In Quebec, sales decreased 4.0 percent in August. A 29.0-percent drop in production in the aerospace product and parts industry largely contributed to the provincial decline. Other durable goods industries also reported declines, including computer and electronic products (–14.1%), miscellaneous manufacturing (–11.1%) and machinery manufacturing (–8.4%). Petroleum and coal products (+5.0%) and food manufacturing (+2.7%) partially offset the declines reported by durable goods industries.

Sales in Ontario declined 3.2 percent in August following an 11.6-percent gain in July. The decline in August mostly reflected a 7.4-percent decrease in sales in the motor vehicle industry and a 58.5-percent drop in aerospace products and parts manufacturing. A 14.3-percent drop in miscellaneous manufacturing also contributed to the provincial decline.

In Alberta, a 4.9-percent gain in sales largely reflected an increase in the petroleum and coal products industry. Machinery manufacturing (+11.6%) also contributed to the province’s strength in August.

Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick were other provinces with sales increases. Sales declined in Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Manitoba. Sales in British Columbia remained unchanged from July.