May 17, 2023
Manufacturing sales improve
Following a 3.6% decline in February, Canadian manufacturing sales increased 0.7% to $72.3 billion in March, led by the motor vehicle (8.6%), aerospace product and parts (18.8%), and primary metal (4.6%) industries, says Statistics Canada. Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry (-2%) declined the most. On a quarterly basis, sales were up 1.4% in the first quarter, mostly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment industry. The wood product industry had manufacturing sales of $3.1 billion in February, down 36.5% from $4.9 billion in the prior year period. Sales increased in five provinces, led by Quebec (2.5%) and Alberta (3.9%). Ontario (-0.4%) posted the largest decline. Total inventory levels increased 0.5% to $124.5 billion in March, on higher goods in process (1.5%) and raw materials (0.7%). The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased from 1.73 in February to 1.72 in March. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level. The total value of unfilled orders declined 2.2% to $106.2.
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