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Manufacturing sales continue to grow

Published by Brad Fougere on November 14, 2014

A surge in aerospace vehicle deliveries and continued strength in the motor vehicles sector helped lift manufacturing sales in September. Sales rose 2.1 per cent over August levels, reaching $53.0 billion – the third-best monthly performance ever for Canadian manufacturers. Sales have now increased in 11 of the past 13 months.

With three quarters of the year now in the books, Canadian manufacturers remain on pace for a solid performance in 2014. Monthly sales in September were 7.3 per cent higher than they were the same month last year and are up 5.6 per cent compared to the first nine months of 2013.

As noted above, aerospace deliveries played an important role in September’s strong performance. Monthly sales of aerospace vehicle and parts were up 22 per cent compared to August levels and were responsible for one third of the overall increase in manufacturing shipments. This reflects a characteristic of aerospace production mentioned in previous manufacturing sales reports: the aerospace industry is prone to large monthly fluctuations because of the size and complexity of the goods they produce. As such, the timing of major deliveries can have a significant impact on monthly sales levels.

However, aerospace manufacturers were not the only ones to see strong gains in September. Primary metals producers saw a 5.9 per cent increase in sales for the month, while producers of motor vehicles and parts enjoyed a 5.6 per cent gain. In fact nearly all major industry categories saw increased sales in September.

The only sector to exhibit significant weakness in September was petroleum refining. While production at western Canadian refineries was steady, the same was not true on the east coast. A scheduled shutdown for maintenance at the Come-by-Chance refinery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and ongoing challenges at the Irving refinery in Saint John helped to drive overall refining sales down sharply in September. In total, refinery sales fell 5.7 per cent in September.

At the provincial level, manufacturing sales were down in New Brunswick and in Newfoundland and Labrador, largely for the reasons described above. In all other provinces, however, sales were higher. Leading the way was Quebec – home to most of Canada’s aerospace manufacturing sector. Sales from Quebec were up 6.8 per cent in September. Ontario also enjoyed strong gains, with a 2.3 per cent monthly increase. In fact, Ontario manufacturers have enjoyed an excellent summer this year. Sales for the third quarter of the year (July-September) were 7.9 per cent higher than they were at the same time last year.


Found in: StatsCan

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