Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Manufacturing sales down 2.1 percent at $69.9B in March, as per Statistics Canada

May 15, 2024
By The Canadian Press

Manufacturing sales fell 2.1 percent to $69.9 billion in March as sales of petroleum and coal products and motor vehicles fell, Statistics Canada said Wednesday.

Olivia Cross, North America economist at Capital Economics, said the result was not as bad as the early estimate that pointed to a drop of 2.8 percent, but it still means sales fell 0.9 percent over the first quarter.

“The weakness of manufacturing sales in March suggests that the economy lost momentum heading into the second quarter, matching the message from the earlier preliminary estimates for retail sales and GDP,” Cross said in a note.

Last month, Statistics Canada released a pair of preliminary estimates for real gross domestic product and retail sales for March that both suggested the data points were essentially unchanged for the month.

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Driving the manufacturing sales numbers for March was an eight percent drop in sales of petroleum and coal products to $8.0 billion as volumes fell 6.1 percent.

Sales of motor vehicles fell 7.9 percent to $4.6 billion in March as sales of motor vehicle parts lost 2.8 percent.

Statistics Canada says retoolings at several major auto assembly plants in Ontario continued to impact auto manufacturing and contributed to the lower sales for the month.

Meanwhile, sales of machinery rose 2.9 percent to $4.5 billion in March. The increase came as sales in all seven machinery industry groups climbed higher, led by commercial and service industry machinery which gained 41.6 percent.

Overall manufacturing sales in constant dollars fell 2.0 percent in March.

Total inventories for the month were largely unchanged at $121.0 billion in March, while unfilled orders fell 0.8 percent to $104.8 billion.


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