Canadian manufacturing sales decreased 0.1 percent in April to $50.9 billion, according to Statistics Canada. This is the first decrease in four months. Declines in the petroleum and coal product, aerospace product and parts, and machinery industries were largely offset by smaller gains in most other industries.
Constant dollar sales were up 0.4 percent, indicating a rise in volumes.
Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry decreased 5 percent in April to $6.9 billion.
Production in the aerospace product and parts industry dropped 6.2 percent to $1.5 billion in April, following three months of gains.
The machinery (down 3.2 percent) and chemical (down 1.7 percent) industries also posted lower sales in April. In both industries, sales declines were widespread.
Sales in the paper industry rose 12.1 percent in April to $2.2 billion, the largest percentage increase since the current series began in 1992.
In the motor vehicle industry, sales rose 3.3 percent to $4.4 billion. Sales in the motor vehicle parts industry also rose, increasing 2.6 percent to $2.2 billion, the eighth gain in nine months.
Manufacturing sales were down in five provinces in April, with Quebec posting the largest decrease.
Quebec manufacturing sales fell 2.3 percent to $11.9 billion in April. Sales in New Brunswick dropped 4.5 percent to $1.4 billion, the sixth consecutive monthly decline. In Ontario, sales rose 0.6 percent to $23.5 billion, the highest sales level since July 2008. Sales in British Columbia were up 2.8 percent to $3.5 billion in April. Saskatchewan manufacturing sales increased 6.6 percent to $1.4 billion.
Inventories rose 1.1 percent to $72.4 billion in April, the fourth consecutive monthly gain. The inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.41 in March to 1.42 in April. The ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.
Unfilled orders rose 0.5 percent to $89.7 billion in April, largely as a result of an advance in the machinery industry.
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