Canadian manufacturing sales rose 2.0% in November to C$49.6B, the fourth rise in five months, driven by higher sales in the machinery, petroleum and coal product, and motor vehicle industries

OTTAWA , January 19, 2012 () – Manufacturing sales rose 2.0% in November to $49.6 billion, the fourth increase in five months. The gains reflected higher sales in the machinery, petroleum and coal product, and motor vehicle industries.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales rose 1.7%, also the fourth increase in five months.

Higher sales were reported in 14 of 21 industries, representing approximately 80% of Canadian manufacturing. Both durable (+2.4%) and non-durable goods manufacturers (+1.5%) reported gains.

The machinery industry reached its highest sales level ever in November, with sales rising 13.4% to $3.4 billion. The growth was mostly concentrated in the mining and oil and gas field machinery manufacturing industry, where a number of companies completed large projects for delivery to both domestic and international customers.

Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry advanced 3.9% to $7.6 billion, the fourth increase in five months. The gains partly reflect higher production following maintenance and retooling work over the summer and fall 2011.

Motor vehicle sales rose in November with manufacturers reporting a 7.1% increase to $4.1 billion. Sales have advanced 24.9% since a low-point reached in June 2011. These gains reflect a partial resolution of the supply chain problems during the summer and fall 2011.
Note to readers

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and are expressed in current dollars unless otherwise specified.

Preliminary data are provided for the current reference month. Revised data, based on late responses, are updated for the three previous months.

Non-durable goods industries include food, beverage and tobacco products, textile mills, textile product mills, clothing, leather and allied products, paper, printing and related support activities, petroleum and coal products, chemicals, and plastics and rubber products.

Durable goods industries include wood products, non-metallic mineral products, primary metal, fabricated metal products, machinery, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, appliances and components, transportation equipment, furniture and related products and miscellaneous manufacturing.

Production-based industries

For the aerospace industry and shipbuilding industries, the value of production is used instead of sales of goods manufactured. This value is calculated by adjusting monthly sales of goods manufactured by the monthly change in inventories of goods in process and finished products manufactured.

Unfilled orders are a stock of orders that will contribute to future sales assuming that the orders are not cancelled.

New orders are those received whether sold in the current month or not. New orders are measured as the sum of sales for the current month plus the change in unfilled orders from the previous month to the current month.

A research paper, Analysis in Brief: "An Overview of the Lumber Industry in Canada, 2004 to 2010" (11-621-M2011089, free), profiling the Canadian softwood lumber industry is now available. The paper reviews the state of the industry over the past six years and examines key economic variables such as sales, exports and employment.

The overall sales increases were somewhat offset by declines in the computer and electronic product industry, down 11.0% to $1.2 billion.

Manufacturing sales rose in nine provinces in November, with Ontario, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador posting the largest provincial increases in dollar terms.

In Ontario, manufacturers reported a 2.0% increase in sales to $22.5 billion. The motor vehicle, aerospace product and parts, and machinery industries were the main contributors to the gain.

Manufacturers in Alberta reported a 5.9% rise in sales to $6.4 billion, the largest percentage increase since May 2008. Gains in November were focused in the machinery, and petroleum and coal product industries.

Sales rose 20.8% to $640 million in Newfoundland and Labrador, reflecting substantial gains in the non-durable goods industries. Manufacturing sales in Newfoundland and Labrador were the highest since July 2008.

New Brunswick (-4.0%) was the only province with a decline in sales.

Inventory levels rose 0.4% in November to $65.1 billion. This is the 14th consecutive month of inventory growth in Canada.

Inventories were up in 8 of 21 industries, with non-durable goods posting a 0.8% increase and durable goods manufacturers reporting a 0.1% rise.

The largest inventory gain was in the computer and electronic product industry, where a 5.9% increase stemmed largely from a rise in raw materials.

Food inventories advanced 2.6%, also largely a result of increases in the inventories of raw materials.

Chart description: Inventories continue to grow

The inventory-to-sales ratio declined to 1.31 in November from 1.33 in October. The inventory-to-sales ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

Unfilled orders increased 1.2% in November to $62.2 billion, the 10th increase in 11 months. The gain in unfilled orders was led by the aerospace product and parts industry, where the backlog of orders rose 4.0% to $29.7 billion.

Unfilled orders were also up in the primary metal (+13.3%) and fabricated metal product industries (+2.0%).

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