Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Canadian manufacturing sales dip in April: StatsCan

June 13, 2014
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Manufacturing sales edged down 0.1 per cent in April to $50.9 billion, the first decrease in four months, according to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for April 2014. Declines in the petroleum and coal product, aerospace product and parts, and machinery industries were largely offset by smaller gains in most other industries.

In April, 14 of 21 industries representing about 60 per cent of manufacturing posted gains, despite the slight decrease in total sales.

Constant dollar sales rose 0.4 per cent in April, indicating an increase in the volume of goods sold.

Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry decreased five per cent in April to $6.9 billion. The decline was caused by partial shutdowns at several refineries for maintenance and retooling work. Although such work is common during the spring months, the partial shutdowns were more extensive than usual in April.

Production in the aerospace product and parts industry dropped 6.2 per cent to $1.5 billion in April, following three months of gains. Despite the decline in April, total aerospace production in the first four months of 2014 was $6.2 billion, up 15.5 per cent from the same period in 2013.

The machinery (down 3.2 per cent) and chemical (down 1.7 per cent) industries also posted lower sales in April. In both industries, sales declines were widespread.

Sales in the paper industry rose 12.1 per cent in April to $2.2 billion, the largest percentage increase since the current series began in 1992. Several paper manufacturers reported higher sales in April following the resolution of the Port Metro Vancouver strike at the end of March.

In the motor vehicle industry, sales rose 3.3 per cent to $4.4 billion. Sales in the motor vehicle parts industry also rose, increasing 2.6 per cent to $2.2 billion, the eighth gain in nine months. As a result, sales in the motor vehicle parts industry reached their highest level since October 2007.

Sales were down in five provinces in April, with Quebec posting the largest decrease.

Quebec manufacturing sales fell 2.3 per cent to $11.9 billion in April. The decline was mainly caused by a drop in petroleum and coal product sales, and lower production in the aerospace product and parts industry. The decreases were partly offset by higher sales in the paper, plastics and rubber products, and food industries.

Sales in New Brunswick dropped 4.5 per cent to $1.4 billion in April, the sixth consecutive monthly decline. Since reaching a peak of $1.9 billion in October 2013, sales in the province have fallen 27.4 per cent. The decline in April was a result of lower non-durable goods sales.

In Ontario, sales rose 0.6 per cent to $23.5 billion, the highest sales level since July 2008, before the most recent economic downturn. The gain in April largely stemmed from higher sales in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries.

Sales in British Columbia advanced 2.8 per cent to $3.5 billion in April. Most of the gain reflected higher paper sales following the resolution of the Port Metro Vancouver strike.

Saskatchewan manufacturing sales increased 6.6 per cent to $1.4 billion, largely as a result of gains in the non-durable goods industries.

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