Canadian manufacturing sales increased for the fifth consecutive month in February, Statistics Canada records indicate.
Sales were up 4.2% to $67.7 billion in February on higher sales in 14 of 21 industries, led by a 25 per cent gain posted by the motor vehicle (+25.0%) sector. Total manufacturing sales rose 19.5% on a year-over-year basis in February, according to data gathered for Statistics Canada’s monthly Survey of Manufacturing.
Following a 17.7% decline in January, sales of motor vehicles rose 25.0% to $3.7 billion in February, the highest sales since January 2021. Production ramped up in most auto manufacturers in February 2022 despite the ongoing global semiconductor shortage and the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge in Ontario. In February, some highway crossings between Canada and the United States were blocked by protesters against health measures, which in turn reduced trade of auto and auto parts between the two countries, especially at the Ambassador Bridge. However, higher transportation activities at other crossing points partly offset the decline in traffic at the Ambassador Bridge. The blockades contributed to a 5.0% decline in exports of motor vehicles and parts in February.
Across all of manufacturing, Statistics Canada reports that based on feedback to its manufacturing survey, the protests against health measures which took place across the country had moderate impacts on manufacturing activities in February. At the national level, the protests impacted about 17.7% of manufacturing plants, mainly through disruptions in transportation (13.2%) and shortages of raw materials (8.3%). The impacts were most pronounced in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries.
Fabricated metal product sales were up 1.7% from the previous month and 21.5% year-over-year. Durable goods manufacturing sales were up 4.5% from the previous month and 13.8 year-over-year. Sales also increased in the motor vehicle parts (+5.8%), motor vehicle body and trailer (+4.8%) and machinery (+2.6%) industries, while production in the aerospace product and parts industry increased 6.6% in February while ship and boat building decreased 15.9%.