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Despite monthly sales drop, Manufacturing sales figures up six per cent in 2014

Published by Brad Fougere on October 16, 2014

After a spike in motor vehicle, rail car and aerospace output helped manufacturing sales hit a record high in July, production of those goods returned to more typical levels in August. Combined with modest losses in other sectors, overall manufacturing sales dropped by 3.3 per cent in August to $52.1 billion. That decrease ended a streak of seven consecutive months of manufacturing sales growth in Canada.

In spite of the setback in August, manufacturing sales are still enjoying a strong year so far in 2014. Monthly sales in August were 6.1 per cent higher than they were the same month last year. Even if manufacturing sales were to remain flat for the rest of the year, output would still be 5.1 per cent higher than it was in 2013.

Motor vehicles and parts production was a major contributor to the lower sales in August, falling by 11.3 per cent compared to July. As noted above, this drop reflects a return to more normal production levels after an output spike in July. Similarly, the aerospace and railcar industries saw sharply lower sales in August. However, those industries are prone to large monthly fluctuations because of the size and complexity of the goods they produce. Year to date, all transportation equipment production in Canada is up strongly compared to last year.  

While transportation equipment accounted for about two thirds of the decrease in overall sales in August, sales were down nearly across the board in August. Chemicals (1.0%) and fabricated metals manufacturing (0.4 per cent) were the only major sectors to see increased sales that month.

At the provincial level, PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, and BC enjoyed stronger manufacturing sales in August, while production was down in all other provinces. In particular, sales were sharply lower in Manitoba and Ontario – the same two provinces which had enjoyed much of the transportation-equipment-led gains in July.

Found in: StatsCan

National Office

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