Forgot your account information?  |  Create a CME account

Manufacturing sales were flat in May as a surge in aerospace shipments and higher oil refinery sales offset losses in other industries. Although manufacturing output on the whole has levelled off since January, the sector is not out of the woods yet as a decline in oil prices in June, combined with falling new orders, could weigh on future sales growth.

In total, manufacturing sales rose by a very modest 0.1 per cent in May – to $49.9 billion for the month. However, on a year-over-year basis, Canada’s manufacturing sales position is declining as the current period of flat activity is being measured against a strong period of growth in the first half of 2014. As a result, from January through May, total sales are down 1.4 per cent compared to the same period last year.

As noted above, May’s flat performance was almost entirely due to a surge in aerospace and refined petroleum deliveries outweighing losses in other industries. For its part, the aerospace industry saw a 22 per cent spike in sales, moving from $1.5 billion in April to $1.9 billion in May. While this type of increase (or decline) is par for the course in aerospace, it can cloud broader trends in manufacturing activity.

Meanwhile, petroleum refining output was up 5.6 per cent in May, reaching its highest level since November. However, that increase could prove to be short-lived as recent crude oil production and inventory figures have since put more downward pressure on benchmark prices.

On the other end of the spectrum, sales of both chemical products and machinery fell by 3.5 per cent in May. In the case of machinery, losses are being driven by dramatically lower sales of the goods used in energy and mining operations. Sales of mining, and oil and gas field machinery are down 26 per cent compared to last May and are half what they were in December.

In addition, food processors saw their sales fall in May for the third time in four months. The 0.8 per cent drop in May brought monthly sales down to their lowest level since last February. There were also notable declines in sales of computers and communications equipment, as well as electronics and specialized electrical instruments.

Given that aerospace and petroleum refining drove sales growth in May, it almost goes without saying that Quebec and Alberta were the country’s strongest performers in manufacturing that month. Sales in Quebec were up $255 million compared to April (a 2.2 per cent increase), while in Alberta, they were $50 million higher (a 0.9 per cent increase). Newfoundland and Labrador also saw strong gains in May. In spite of those increases, however, manufacturing sales from Newfoundland and Alberta (as well as Saskatchewan) through the first five months of the year remain sharply lower than they were at the same point last year.

For their part, Ontario manufacturers continue to struggle. Sales in May were down 1.1 per cent – enough to completely offset all the sales gains made in Quebec that month. Manufacturing shipments from Ontario have fallen in four of the past five months and are down 4.7 per cent since December. Manitoba and PEI also posted notable sales declines in May.

Powered by: Ignite Web Solutions

National Office

Alberta British Columbia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Newfoundland & Labrador Nova Scotia
Ontario Québec
Prince Edward Island Saskatchewan

We are Canada's largest trade and industry association. We are Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.

View site in:

English

MEQ est une division de Manufacturiers et exportateurs du Canada (MEC), la plus importante association commerciale et industrielle au pays fondée en 1871.

Voir le site en :

Français