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Manufacturing sales improve in August

Published by Steve Coleman on October 14, 2011

Transportation kept Canadian manufacturing sales moving in August.

While motor vehicles and vehicle parts sales fell during the month, increases in the aerospace industry, railroad rolling stock and ship and boat building helped keep the numbers positive during the month.

Statistics Canada says overall manufacturing sales rose 1.4 per cent for the month to $47.6 billion, the highest level since October 2008.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales were also up 1.1 per cent in August, the second-straight increase, while 11 of 21 industry sectors reported doing more business. The industries represented 70 per cent of Canadian manufacturing. Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Ontario led the way.

After four months of decline, customers started showing a renewed appetite for food products. Sales rose a reported 3.9 per cent in August.

After shutting down for maintenance in July, it was back to business for oil refineries in August. Petroleum and coal sales rose 2.7 per cent during the month to $6.4 billion.

The hardest-hit industries during the month were fabricated metal producers (seven per cent fewer sales) and primary metal producers (2.7 per cent less).

As for individual provinces, Nova Scotia reported a 5.6 per cent decline in sales, while Manitoba industries sold 2.4 per cent less. The other eight provinces all reported more sales during the month.

As a whole, manufacturers were busier in August, too.

The number of unfilled orders rose for the eighth-straight month in August by 1.3 per cent, carrying a $60.3 billion value. The aerospace and metal products industries contributed the most to the gain, Stats Can said.

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