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Manufacturing sales hit pre-recession levels: StatsCan


Canadian manufacturing sales increased 1.4 per cent to $51.2 billion in February — the highest level since July 2008, the peak before the last recession began.

According to Statistics Canada’s latest numbers, manufacturing sales have risen in eight of the past 10 months. The gain in February was largely attributable to higher sales in the transportation equipment industry and the petroleum and coal product industry.

Transportation equipment sales rose 4.3 per cent to $8.9 billion in February. The advance partly stemmed from a 6.4 per cent increase in motor vehicle parts sales. The motor vehicle assembly and other transportation equipment industries also posted gains in February.

Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry increased 2.9 per cent to $7.5 billion, reaching their highest level since March 2012. Most of the gain reflected a 2.5 per cent rise in prices for the industry.

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Lower sales in the food (-0.6 per cent), computer and electronic product (-3.8 per cent) and wood product (-1.5 per cent) industries partly offset these gains. Sales declines were widespread in these industries.

While seven provinces posted higher sales in February, Canada can thank Ontario for the bulk of the gain.

In Ontario, sales rose 2.9 per cent to $23.3 billion in February. About half of the provincial gain stemmed from a 4.8 per cent advance in the transportation equipment industry.

Manufacturing sales in Newfoundland and Labrador advanced 16.2 per cent to $592 million in February, following a 14.9 per cent decline in January.

In Manitoba, manufacturing sales rose 6.3 per cent to $1.3 billion, reaching the highest level since July 2012. Most of the gain reflected an increase in the transportation equipment industry.

Sales in British Columbia declined three per cent to $3.4 billion in February. Approximately half of the provincial decline was the result of a 7.8 per cent decrease in the wood product industry. Sales were also down in the food and machinery industries.