Manufacturing sales up in March: StatsCan
Canadian manufacturing sales edged up 0.4 per cent to $50.9 billion in March, the sixth advance in seven months. The rise mostly reflected higher sales in the food, machinery, and plastics and rubber products industries. However, these increases were largely offset by declines in the paper, and petroleum and coal products industries.
Sales were up in 11 of 21 industries, representing approximately two-thirds of the manufacturing sector. Both durable and non-durable goods sales increased 0.4 per cent.
In the food industry, sales rose 2.1 per cent to $7.8 billion in March, as a result of widespread increases. The largest sales gains were posted by the meat and dairy sub-industries.
Machinery sales increased 3.3 per cent to $3.1 billion in March. In the plastics and rubber products industry, sales advanced 2.7 per cent to $2.1 billion.
Offsetting these increases were a 3.8 per cent decrease in the paper products industry and a 0.8 per cent decline in the petroleum and coal products industry. Some respondents in the paper products industry reported that the decrease in sales was the result of a strike at the Port Metro Vancouver.
Regionally, sales increased in five provinces in March, led by gains in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
A two per cent rise in sales in Quebec stemmed largely from a 19.9 per cent increase in production in the aerospace product and parts industry. Production in this industry tends to be volatile. Gains in sales were also reported in the primary metal and food industries.
Ontario manufacturers reported a 0.6 per cent increase in sales as a result of the petroleum and coal product, and food industries. Sales of petroleum and coal products were up 7.1 per cent, while food industry sales advanced 2.5 per cent in March.
Alberta sales rose 1.7 per cent in March, reflecting gains in the food and machinery industries.
These increases were partially offset by declines in New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. Lower sales of petroleum and coal products, food and machinery were reported across these provinces.
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