Canadian manufacturing sales increased for the seventh consecutive month in April, up 1.7 per cent to a record high $72.3 billion, according to data from Statistics Canada.
In constant dollar terms, factory sales were up 0.9 per cent on the month, indicating that both prices and volumes sold contributed to the gain.
“Today’s report provides further evidence that Canada’s manufacturing sector continues to expand despite facing numerous challenges. That said, it will be difficult to sustain the positive momentum given that the global economy is slowing down amid the war in Ukraine, surging inflation, and rising interest rates,” commented Alan Arcand, chief economist with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters.
The increase in sales spanned 9 of 11 major industries, led by the motor vehicle and parts industry, a key sector for metal manufacturers. Sales rose 6.0 per cent to $7.6 billion for the motor vehicle and parts industry in April. This was the sector’s third consecutive monthly increase and the highest since August 2020. Year-over-year, sales of motor vehicles and parts were up 63.2 per cent.
Following an 8.6 per cent increase in March, primary metal sales rose 4.1 per cent to $6.2 billion in April, on higher prices and volumes sold. Limited metal production in China stemming from COVID-19 lockdowns and global supply chain disruptions due to the war in Ukraine lifted prices of basic and semi-finished iron or steel.
There were also notable sales increases in the aerospace products sector (11.2 per cent increase) and the machinery manufacturing (3.0 per cent increase) sector.