Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Aerospace leads manufacturing sales bounce in October

December 17, 2009
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Manufacturing sales advanced 2.0 percent in October to $42.5 billion, the fourth increase in five months, according to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (see September, AugustJulyJuneMay and April results). Most of the manufacturing gains in October were focused in two industries: aerospace product and parts, and petroleum and coal products.

However, even with these recent gains, manufacturing sales remained 16.6 percent below October 2008.

Aerospace and petroleum behind October’s gains
In October, most of the gains were centred in the aerospace product and parts, and petroleum and coal product industries.

Aerospace product and parts production advanced 54.1 percent in October, following two months of steep declines. Production in this industry has been particularly volatile over the past year.

Petroleum and coal product sales rose 7.2 percent in October. Sales have generally been increasing in 2009 following a sizeable drop at the end of 2008. Rising prices in the industry have contributed to almost all of the sales increases since the start of 2009.

Motor vehicle sales increased 2.9 percent in October compared with September. This industry has reported higher sales in three of the past four months.

Of the industries reporting lower sales, fabricated metal products led the declines, losing 4.4 percent in October. Most of the weakness reflected a return to more normal sales levels after several major orders were completed in September.

Quebec manufacturers account for most gains
Sales in Quebec were up 7.3 percent in October, reaching the highest level since December 2008. Sales were driven by gains in the transportation equipment (+44.6 percent), petroleum and coal product (+19.2 percent), and primary metal (+11.7 percent) industries.

Excluding Quebec, manufacturing sales were basically flat, rising 0.2 percent.

Sales in the Prairie provinces were down 1.7 percent compared with September, mostly as a result of declines in Saskatchewan. Sales in Saskatchewan fell 12.6 percent in October after a similar sized gain in September. Manufacturers in the petroleum and coal industry as well as the food industry had been influenced by a later than normal harvest this year.

Manitoba (–0.9 percent also reported weaker sales for October. Alberta, by contrast, posted a 0.5-percent sales gain as increases in the petroleum and chemical products industries outweighed losses in the food and fabricated metal industries.

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