Manufacturing sales slightly up: Statistics Canada

Monday December 20, 2010
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Manufacturing sales increased 1.7 percent in October to $45.5 billion, reflecting gains in the petroleum and coal products, primary metals and motor vehicle industries, according to Statistics Canada's Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for October 2010. Manufacturing sales have been trending upwards at a slower rate in recent months, after increasing substantially between May 2009 and May 2010. Constant dollar manufacturing sales increased 1.1 percent in October. Higher sales were seen in 14 of 21 industries, representing 80 percent of total sales. Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry rose 4.3 percent to $6 billion in October. The increase reflects a 4.4 percent rise in prices, as indicated by the Industrial Product Price Index. In the primary metals industry, sales increased 5.8 percent to $3.8 billion. The rise reflects both higher volumes and prices. Sales increased 3.7 percent in the motor vehicle industry, and production in the aerospace product and parts industry was up 7.4 percent. The computer and electronic product industry had the largest decline in October, with sales decreasing 4.4 percent. A large number of manufacturers in the industry reported lower sales in October. In October, sales increased in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan. Sales advanced 3.7 percent in Quebec to $11.1 billion. The increase largely reflects higher production in the transportation equipment industry (up 31.4 percent) and increased sales in the primary metals industry (up 10.4 percent). Declines in the furniture, food, chemical and fabricated metal product industries partially offset the overall rise in sales in the province. Sales increased 1.8 percent in Ontario to $21.3 billion. Higher sales in the primary metals (up 5.9 percent), petroleum and coal products (up 5.4 percent), and the transportation equipment (up 1.3 percent) industries were partly offset by decreases in the computer and electronic products (down three percent) and food (down 1.4 percent) industries. Sales in Alberta rose 1.9 percent to $5.2 billion, largely as a result of a 12.1 percent increase in the petroleum and coal products industry. Manufacturing sales in Saskatchewan increased 0.9 percent as a result of gains in non-durable goods industries. A 10.8 percent increase in sales in Newfoundland and Labrador reflected an increase in the province's non-durable goods industries. The remaining Atlantic provinces posted declines, led by a 4.7 percent decrease in New Brunswick. Manitoba experienced the largest decline in sales in dollar terms, falling 6.6 percent to $1.2 billion. Lower sales in the transportation equipment (down 21.6 percent) and primary metal (down 18.9 percent) industries largely contributed to the overall provincial decline. Inventory levels increased 0.3 percent in October to $60.4 billion. Inventory levels have been relatively stable in 2010 following declines for most of 2009. The rise in October reflected a 3.5 percent gain in the primary metals industry and a 4.7 percent advance in the petroleum and coal product industry. In the primary metals industry, higher levels of goods-in-process and finished product inventories were largely responsible for the overall increase. For petroleum and coal products, an increase in the value of raw materials inventories held at refineries was behind the rise in the industry. These increases were partially offset by declines of 2.9 percent in the machinery industry and 2.3 percent in aerospace product and parts inventories. The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased from 1.35 in September to 1.33 in October. The ratio has remained stable since the spring of 2010. Unfilled orders declined 1.4 percent to $52.5 billion in October, the lowest level since April 2010. Unfilled orders have levelled off in 2010 after declining throughout most of 2009. The decrease was mostly concentrated in the aerospace product and parts industry, where the backlog of orders declined 5.7 percent to $21.4 billion. Excluding the aerospace product and parts industry, unfilled orders rose 1.8 percent in October compared with September. The increase reflects gains in the fabricated metal product (up 3.8 percent) and machinery (up 1.9 percent) industries. New orders rose three percent to $44.8 billion, with the primary metal, transportation equipment, machinery and petroleum and coal product industries leading the way. Data from the November 2010 Monthly Survey of Manufacturing will be released on January 19, 2011. www.statcan.gc.ca

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