Canadian Manufacturing Survey Results for February

Statistics Canada revealed that Canadian manufacturing sales decreased 3.6% to $71.5 billion in February. The decline was observed in 12 of 21 manufacturing markets and led by petroleum and coal products (-14.9%), motor vehicles (-12.3%), and primary metal (-4.2%). However, the machinery industry (+3.0%), electrical machinery, appliance, and component industries (+6.0%).  Every year, total sales increased by 3.8% in February. Statistics Canada also announced that the decline followed a 4.5% increase in January.

The February decline resulted from lower volumes and prices as sales decreased 2.4% in February.

Machinery Industry Increased 3.0%

Although sales in other manufacturing industries decreased in February, the machinery sector rose 3.0%. Sales were up to a record high of $4.6 billion in the month, marking its fourth consecutive monthly rise. The increase saw elevated sales in five of seven manufacturing industries led by the industrial machinery manufacturing sector. Each year, sales in this industry rose 20.0% in February alone.

Manufacturing Sales Down in Nine Provinces

Sales were down in nine provinces across Canada in February, including Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. In Alberta, sales decreased 9.6% to $8.8 billion in that month after a stark growth in January. Machinery sales actually increased by 12.5% in the province. In Ontario, sales were down 3.6% to $31.8 billion in February. The electrical equipment and component industry in the province offset the decline with an increase of 14.3%. Quebec sales were reduced 1.6% to $17.7 billion in February. Yet, the province’s machinery industry was up 8.4% which also offset the decline. In Prince Edward Island, sales remained at $274 million in February.

Inventory Increased to a Record Level High

Overall inventory levels rose 0.9% to $122.3 billion in February which marked a record level high. Increases in finished products were up (1.7%), goods in process (1.7%), and a decline in raw materials (-0.1%). The chemical industry witnessed the largest gain of 2.3%. For wood products, there was a decline of 3.0%. The monthly increase in total inventories resulted from higher volumes as overall inventory grew 1.8% in February.

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