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Manufacturing sales fell 1.3 percent to CAD$56.2 billion (US$42.6 billion) in April, following two consecutive monthly increases, according to new data from Statistics Canada.
Sales were down in 10 of 21 industries, representing nearly half of the manufacturing sector, the organization said. Sales in the petroleum and coal products and transportation equipment industries accounted for much of the decrease in April. Excluding these two industries, manufacturing sales rose 0.4 percent.
The petroleum and coal products industry posted the biggest declines, falling 10.9 percent to CAD$5.2 billion (US$3.9 billion), a third consecutive monthly decline. The decrease in April was entirely due to lower sales volumes, as prices for the industry rose 4.5 percent, according to the Industrial Product Price Index. Partial shutdowns at a number of Canadian refineries for maintenance work during the month were a major contributor to the decline in volumes sold.
Sales of transportation equipment fell 2.3 percent to CAD$10.9 billion (US$8.3 billion) in April, largely due to weaker sales of other transportation equipment and lower production of aerospace products and parts.
In April, sales were up in 11 industries, with the largest increases in the primary metal manufacturing (+3.8 percent) and food products (+1.9 percent) industries.