Manufacturing sales decreased in five provinces in May, led by Ontario and followed by British Columbia, Statistics Canada data reveals. Meanwhile, Nova Scotia and Alberta posted the largest increases.
In Ontario, manufacturing sales fell 5.3% to $29.9 billion, primarily on lower sales of motor vehicles (-32.8%), plastic and rubber products (-6.6%) and motor vehicle parts (-4.0%). Auto production in Ontario in May was impacted by a plant shutdown, along with the global semiconductor shortages. Despite the decline in May, total Ontario sales were 22.3% higher compared with the same month a year earlier.
In British Columbia, sales decreased 1.4% to $5.8 billion in May, the second consecutive monthly decline, driven by lower sales in the primary metal, chemical, machinery and wood product industries. On a year-over-year basis, total sales for British Columbia were 3.8% higher in May.
In Nova Scotia, sales rose 13.5% in May, mainly on higher sales of seafood. The lobster fishing season in many locations in Nova Scotia started in May and sales reached the highest level on record.
Alberta sales increased 1.2% to $9.5 billion in May, the eighth consecutive month-over-month increase, largely on higher sales of the petroleum and coal (+2.7%), fabricated metals product (+5.6%) and transportation equipment (+45.8%) industries. On a year-over-year basis, total sales in Alberta rose 31.8% in May.
Toronto sales decline the most, while Québec posts the largest increase
Manufacturing sales fell in 5 of the 15 census metropolitan areas in May, led by Toronto and followed by Windsor, while sales in Québec rose the most.
Sales in Toronto decreased 3.9% to $11.5 billion in May, largely on lower sales of motor vehicles (-25.7%) and motor vehicle parts (-6.0%). With the monthly decline, motor vehicle sales reached their lowest level since June 2021. Despite the decrease, total sales on a year-over-year basis were 17.6% higher compared with May 2021.
Sales in Windsor decreased 5.7% to $1.6 billion in May, largely on lower motor vehicle and machinery sales. The declines were partially offset by higher sales in the plastic and rubber and motor vehicle part industries. The auto industry in Windsor has been facing various supply chain issues, leading to several plant shutdowns since January 2021.
Sales in Québec rose 15.1% to $2.3 billion in May, largely on higher sales in 9 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal industry. Year over year, total sales in Québec were up 101.7% in May.