Canadian manufacturing sales rise 1.7% in July from June to C$49.5B, with 15 of 21 industries posting higher sales: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , September 17, 2013 (press release) – Manufacturing sales rose 1.7% to $49.5 billion in July. Of 21 industries, 15 posted higher sales, indicating that the gain was relatively widespread across the sector.

On the durable goods side of manufacturing, sales were up 2.1% to $24.8 billion. The increase mostly reflected higher sales in the miscellaneous manufacturing, fabricated metal product, and wood product industries. Non-durable goods sales were up 1.2% to $24.6 billion, largely as a result of an increase in the petroleum and coal product industry.

Chart 1 
Manufacturing sales rise
Line chart – Chart 1: Manufacturing sales rise, from July 2008 to July 2013

Constant dollar sales were up 1.1%, indicating that most of the increase was volume-based.

Widespread gains among manufacturing industries

Miscellaneous manufacturing sales increased 23.9% to $1.1 billion, rebounding from a similarly sized decrease in June. Higher sales in the jewellery and silverware industry were largely responsible for the gain.

In the petroleum and coal product industry, sales were up 2.4% to $7.0 billion. The increase mostly reflected higher prices. With the increase in July, sales were at their highest level since February 2013.

Sales in the fabricated metal product industry rose 5.9% to $2.8 billion. Most manufacturers in the industry reported higher sales.

Wood product sales increased 6.3% to $2.0 billion, following two months of declines. Sales had reached a six-year high of $2.2 billion in April 2013.

A 2.6% decrease in the primary metal industry partly offset the gains.

Sales in the transportation equipment industry decreased 0.5% to $8.5 billion in July. Although five of seven sub-industries posted higher sales, production of aerospace products and parts declined 17.3%, pulling down sales for the transportation equipment industry as a whole. Excluding the aerospace industry, transportation equipment sales rose 3.2%.

Ontario leads the gains

Sales rose in six provinces in July, led by Ontario.

Ontario manufacturing sales rose 3.2% to $23.1 billion, the highest level since June 2012. A 4.6% increase in the transportation equipment industry was responsible for about two-fifths of the provincial gain in July. In particular, sales were up 3.9% to $4.5 billion in the motor vehicle assembly sub-industry and production rose in the aerospace product and parts sub-industry. Sales also rose sharply in the miscellaneous manufacturing industry.

In Alberta, sales increased 2.1% to $6.3 billion. Slightly over half of the increase was caused by a 3.9% gain in the petroleum and coal product industry. Higher sales in the wood product (+13.6%) and the fabricated metal product (+6.2%) industries also contributed to the provincial gain.

Sales dropped 10.1% to $1.5 billion in New Brunswick, mostly as a result of a decline in non-durable goods manufacturing.

In Quebec, although 14 of 21 industries posted gains, total sales edged down 0.2% to $11.2 billion. The gains were entirely offset by a 27.7% drop in the transportation equipment industry. Lower production in the aerospace product and parts sub-industry was entirely responsible for this decline.

Inventories rise

Manufacturing inventories increased 0.4% to $69.1 billion as a result of gains in the transportation equipment industry.

Transportation equipment inventories rose 4.0% to $11.5 billion. Most of this gain was attributable to a 3.8% increase in the aerospace product and parts sub-industry. Inventories of motor vehicles (+8.6%) and motor vehicle parts (+5.8%) also rose.

Chart 2 
Inventories rise
Line chart – Chart 2: Inventories rise, from July 2008 to July 2013

The inventory-to-sales ratio declined from 1.41 in June to 1.40 in July.

Chart 3 
The inventory-to-sales ratio declines
Line chart – Chart 3: The inventory-to-sales ratio declines, from July 2008 to July 2013

Inventories have generally risen since the end of December 2012, increasing in five of the past seven months. In dollar terms, inventories were up $2.1 billion over this period. Just under one-third of the increase since December 2012 reflected higher inventories of raw materials in the petroleum and coal product industry. Raw materials were also up in the wood product, plastics and rubber products, and chemical industries. Higher goods-in-process inventories in the transportation equipment and computer and electronic product industries combined contributed to just over half of the gain in total inventories since the end of 2012. Finally, finished product inventories in the transportation equipment and wood product industries have increased substantially since 2012.

Unfilled orders rise

Unfilled orders increased 0.4% to $73.6 billion in July. The gain was caused by higher unfilled orders in the machinery (+3.1%), electrical equipment (+6.5%) and computer and electronic product (+4.2%) industries.

In the aerospace product and parts sub-industry, unfilled orders declined 0.9% to $41.3 billion. The decrease was attributable to a weakening of the US dollar relative to the Canadian dollar in July. A large proportion of aerospace unfilled orders are held in US dollars.

Chart 4 
Unfilled orders rise
Line chart – Chart 4: Unfilled orders rise, from July 2008 to July 2013

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