Canadian manufacturing sales increased 1 percent to record C$53.9 billion (US$39.6 billion) in January, led by a 2.3 percent gain in non-durable goods sales and by increases in petroleum and coal, and chemical industries, according to Statistics Canada.
In constant dollars, manufacturing sales in volume terms rose 0.2 percent.
Sales in the transportation equipment industry rose 2.1 percent to C$11.1 billion (US$8.1 billion) in March, following two months of declines. The increase was the result of gains in the motor vehicle (+4.5 percent) and the motor vehicle parts (+1.8 percent) industries, reflecting higher volumes and prices. After removing the effect of price changes, sales in volume terms increased 3.1 percent and 0.5 percent respectively in these industries in March.
In the food industry, sales rose for the second straight month, up 2.6 percent to a record high C$8.9 billion (US$6.5 billion) in March. Widespread gains in sales were posted in all nine food industries and reflected higher sales volumes, particularly in the meat, dairy and other food product industries. After removing price effects, sales volumes of the food industry increased 2.2 percent in March.
These increases were partially offset by a 1.7 percent decline in the petroleum and coal product industry to C$5 billion (US$3.7 billion), mostly reflecting lower prices. After removing the effect of price changes, sales volumes of petroleum and coal products edged down 0.2 percent.
Sales were up in 16 of 21 industries, representing 71 percent of the Canadian manufacturing sector. Sales of durable goods rose 1.3 percent to C$28.4 billion (US$20.9 billion), while sales of non-durable goods increased 0.7 percent to C$25.4 billion (US$18.7 billion).
Sales in Ontario increased 1.3 percent to $25.9 billion (US$19 billion) in March, largely due to the motor vehicle (+4.1 percent) and food (+1.8 percent) industries. These increases were partially offset by lower petroleum and coal product sales (-6.5 percent).
In British Columbia, sales grew 2.9 percent on a strong increase in wood products (+10.5 percent). Sales in Alberta rose 1.6 percent to C$5.8 billion (US$4.2 billion), led by gains in food (+3.9 percent).
The largest decrease was in Manitoba, where sales fell 1.9 percent to C$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion), largely due to chemical sales. In Quebec, sales edged down 0.2 percent to C$12.7 billion (US$9.3 billion), mostly due to lower sales in the transportation equipment and wood products industries.