Manufacturing inventories increased 1.7% to a record-high $102.8 billion in December, mainly on higher inventories of transportation equipment (+2.6%) and machinery (+4.4%), Statistics Canada reports.
The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.59 in November to 1.61 in December. The 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 rose 1.7% to $97.9 billion in December, mostly due to higher unfilled orders of aerospace products and parts.
Total value of new orders increased 1.4% to $65.6 billion in December, mainly attributable to higher new orders of transportation equipment industry (+7.9%).
The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector decreased from 78.2% in November to 77.1% in December, on lower production.
The capacity utilization rate fell in 13 of 21 industries in December, led by food (-2.5 percentage points) and primary metal (-4.6 percentage points). The decline was partially offset by an increase in the transportation equipment (+2.5 percentage points) and chemical (+4.0 percentage points) industries