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Canadian manufacturing sales increased 2.1 percent to C$53 billion (US$46.9 billion) in September, the nation’s eighth gain in nine months. The increase follows a 3.5-percent decline in August.
Most of the increase in September stemmed from higher sales in the transportation equipment industry. Excluding transportation equipment, manufacturing sales rose 0.6 percent. The primary metal and food industries also posted sales gains.
Constant dollar sales rose 2.3 percent, indicating that a higher volume of products was sold.
Transportation equipment sales improved 9.5 percent to C$9.9 billion (US$8.8 billion) in September. In the motor vehicle industry, sales rose 4.8 percent to C$4.8 billion (US$4.3 billion). The increase reflected some plants returning to normal production levels following partial shutdowns in August. Motor vehicle parts sales also rose in September, up 7.5 percent to C$2.2 billion (US$1.9 billion), the seventh increase in nine months.
Sales were also up in the primary metal and food industries. In the primary metal industry, sales rose 5.9 percent to C$4.4 billion (US$3.9 billion), the sixth consecutive monthly gain. Food sales increased 2.1 percent to C$8.1 billion (US$7.2 billion). In both industries, higher sales were widespread.Petroleum and coal product sales declined 5.7 percent in September.
Manufacturing sales rose in eight provinces in September, led by Quebec and Ontario.
In Quebec, sales advanced 6.8 percent to C$12.9 billion (US$11.4 billion), the sixth rise in nine months. With this advance, the sales level for the province was the highest since July 2008. The gain in September was mostly attributable to increases in the aerospace product and parts industry (+38.3 percent) and the primary metal industry (+10.7 percent).
Sales in Ontario rose 2.3 percent to C$24.5 billion (US$21.7 billion) in September. The increase was mostly due to higher sales of transportation equipment. In particular, motor vehicle sales rose 4.6 percent and motor vehicle parts sales were up 7.7 percent.
Alberta manufacturing sales increased 1 percent to C$6.7 billion (US$5.9 billion) in September. The increase stemmed from higher sales in the petroleum and coal product (+2.8 percent) and the food (+5 percent) industries.
Sales rose 1.9 percent in British Columbia to C$3.7 billion (US$3.3 billion). The increase was led by higher sales in the wood product, transportation equipment, and paper industries.
Lower sales in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick offset a portion of the gains in September. In Newfoundland and Labrador, sales were down 47.7 percent to C$315 million (US$279 million). While this decrease is relatively large, it is important to note that manufacturing sales for Newfoundland and Labrador are volatile compared with the other provinces. New Brunswick's manufacturing sector posted a decrease of 9.3 percent to C$1.5 billion (US$1.3 billion)in September. For both provinces, lower non-durable goods sales were responsible for the declines.
Manufacturers' inventories were down 0.5 percent to C$70.8 billion (US$62.7 billion) in September. The decline was primarily the result of a 5.8 percent decrease in the petroleum and coal product industry. In particular, both finished products and raw materials on hand in the industry were down. A 0.7 percent rise in transportation equipment inventories offset some of the decline.
Unfilled orders rose 1.2 percent to C$90.2 billion (US$79.9 billion) in September. The increase was entirely attributable to the aerospace product and parts industry. Excluding the aerospace industry, unfilled orders for the remainder of the manufacturing sector declined 0.8 percent.
In the aerospace product and parts industry, unfilled orders rose 2.9 percent to C$48.6 billion (US$43.1 billion). The bulk of the increase reflected a 3.1 percent appreciation of the U.S. dollar over the course of September relative to the Canadian dollar. The majority of unfilled orders in the industry are held in U.S. dollars.
New orders rose 4.6 percent to C$54 billion (US$47.8 billion) in September, as a result of gains in the transportation equipment, primary metal and food industries.