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Canadian Manufacturing Sales Up 1% in October

Canadian manufacturing sales increased 1 percent in October to $50.1 billion, according to Statistics Canada. With this gain, sales reached their highest level since May 2012. The sales increase in October was mostly caused by higher sales in the food industry. Sales also rose notably in the chemical industry.

Sales advanced in 13 of 21 industries in Canada, representing 49 percent of the manufacturing sector. Non-durable goods sales advanced 2.6 percent while durable goods sales declined 0.5 percent. Constant dollar sales were up 1 percent, indicating a rise in volumes.

In the food industry, sales rose 6.9 percent to $7.7 billion in October, as a result of widespread increases reported by a large number of food manufacturers. The sales gain in the industry was the largest recorded over the past two decades. The advance in manufacturing sales also coincided with higher exports of farm, fishing and intermediate food products.

Chemical sales increased 2.8 percent to $4.1 billion in October, as a result of widespread gains.

In the transportation equipment industry, sales fell 1.7 percent to $8.8 billion, offsetting a portion of the overall gain in total manufacturing sales. Sales were down 1.9 percent in the motor vehicle assembly industry while production decreased 4.5 percent in the aerospace product and parts industry.

Manufacturing sales were up in seven Canadian provinces in October, with Quebec leading the way.

In Quebec, sales rose 2.1 percent to $11.7 billion. The gain largely stemmed from higher food sales, particularly in the dairy, meat and animal food sub-industries. Higher production in the aerospace product and parts industry also contributed to the provincial increase.

Sales in the manufacturing sector in Alberta posted a 2.7 percent increase to $6.4 billion in October, largely reflecting higher sales in the chemical, petroleum and coal product as well as food industries.

New Brunswick manufacturing sales were up 7.7 percent to $1.9 billion, the highest level on record. Sales rose in 16 of 21 industries in the province.

Lower sales in Ontario offset a portion of the gains in October. The province's manufacturing sales edged down 0.4 percent to $22.5 billion. The decrease was largely the result of a 31.9 percent decline in the aerospace product and parts industry along with decreases in the petroleum and coal product and motor vehicle industries. Production in the aerospace industry is substantially more volatile compared with the manufacturing sector as a whole.

Manufacturing inventories rose 1.9 percent to $69.4 billion, the third gain in four months. The increase largely stemmed from higher inventories of petroleum and coal products and transportation equipment.

In the petroleum and coal products industry, inventories increased 9.5 percent to $6 billion. The gain was entirely caused by higher inventories of raw materials on hand.

Transportation equipment inventories rose 3.4 percent to $12 billion in October. The gain was mostly attributable to a 3.4 percent advance in aerospace products and parts and a 5.8 percent rise in the motor vehicle assembly industry.

Computer and electronic product inventories increased 4.3 percent to $3.2 billion, partly as a result of higher raw materials on hand.

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