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Canadian Manufacturing Activity Down in September

Manufacturing sales grew 0.2 percent to $58.5 billion (US$44.5 billion) in August, following a 0.5 percent decrease in August, according to new data from Statistics Canada.

Sales increased in 8 of 21 industries, led by higher sales in the transportation equipment industry. However, these gains were largely offset by declines in the machinery and wood product industries.

Constant dollar sales were down 0.1 percent, indicating a lower volume of goods sold.

Sales of transportation equipment increased 3.1 percent in September, following a 1.8 percent decline in August. The growth was mainly attributable to higher sales in the motor vehicle assembly (+6.1 percent) and motor vehicle parts (+1.9 percent) industries, reflecting a ramp up in production following motor vehicle assembly plant shutdowns in July and August. In constant dollars, sales volumes rose 4.8 percent in the motor vehicle assembly industry and 2.1 percent in the motor vehicle parts industry in September.

Sales in the chemical (+1.4 percent) and petroleum and coal product (+0.9 percent) industries also increased in September. These gains reflected mostly higher prices as volumes sold increased by 0.3 percent in the chemical industry and by 0.1 percent in the petroleum and coal product industry.

Sales in the machinery industry fell 6.2 percent in September, following four consecutive monthly increases. Manufacturers in the metalworking machinery industry as well as the agricultural, construction and mining machinery industry reported lower sales in September.

Wood product sales were down for the fourth consecutive month, declining 2.9 percent to in September. Many wood product manufacturers indicated that they experienced lower demand and lower prices in the previous four months. Exports of lumber and other sawmill and millwork products were also down in the previous three months.

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