Latest figures show Canada's economic performance strongest in two yearsClick image to enlarge

Canada's economic performance has hit a new high with the latest figures indicating that manufacturing performance is the strongest since 2014.

The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) reached a 27-month high of 54.6 in February, the strongest improvement in business conditions since November 2014, according to Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI Report.

Canada’s manufacturing sector remained on track to record its fastest quarterly upturn in business conditions since Q4 2014. February data revealed robust and accelerated growth in new order intakes, input buying and production levels. This contributed to a sustained recovery in job creation and business confidence across the manufacturing sector.

The average reading for Q1 2017 so far (54.1) is up from 51.5 in Q4 2016 and the highest quarterly figure for over two years. Faster rates of output and new business growth were the main factors boosting the headline PMI in February. In both cases, the rate of expansion was the steepest since late-2014.

“IHS Markit’s PMI data reveal a strong reacceleration in manufacturing growth so far this year, helped by improving domestic economic conditions and greater sales to clients in the oil and gas sector," notes Tim Moore, senior economist at survey compilers IHS Markit. "The boost from rising spending by energy sector companies led to a surge in manufacturing growth across Alberta and BC, with production volumes expanding at the fastest pace since late-2010.

“Across the Canadian manufacturing sector as a whole, business optimism about the 12-month outlook reached its highest level since early-2014. This contributed to renewed inventory building and the steepest rise in payroll numbers for over two years in February.

“Stronger demand for inputs continued to exert pressure on manufacturing supply chains, with delivery times lengthening amid widespread reports of depleted stocks among vendors. Against a backdrop of rising global commodity prices, this placed upward pressure on raw material costs and meant that the overall pace of cost inflation remained close to its strongest for two-and-a-half years.”

Survey respondents noted that greater demand from domestic markets, especially the energy sector, had underpinned the improvement in manufacturing growth. There were also reports that the upturn in new order intakes had been supported by customers’ efforts to replenish inventories. Meanwhile, export sales growth remained subdued, and therefore provided only a marginal contribution to overall new business gains in February.

The latest survey pointed to a rebound in manufacturing sector confidence regarding the year-ahead business outlook. Moreover, the degree of positive sentiment reached its strongest for exactly three years. This was linked to resurgent optimism about domestic demand and the general outlook for the Canadian economy.

Greater business confidence contributed to the strongest increase in employment for 27 months in February. Manufacturers also sought to boost their stocks of finished goods in line with expectations for improved sales growth. The rise in post-production inventories was the strongest since April 2014. However, stocks of inputs were depleted in February, which was attributed to rising demand for inputs and longer delivery times from suppliers.

Watch: Canada federal election called

With the federal election just announced for October 21, BNN Bloomberg has conducted an informal poll to find out which issues matter most to Canadian voters.

PAL, De Havilland to partner on made-in-Canada spy plane

PAL Aerospace and De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd. are teaming up to pursue the development of a fully missionized Dash 8-400 aircraft.

Auto parts makers respond to tariffs, NAFTA uncertainty

A recent Globe and Mail report (“Location, location, Michigan: Canadian auto-parts maker develops tech near Detroit”) explores the motives behind one auto parts supplier in consolidating some of its operations in the US.

Canadian scientists working on made-in-Canada ventilator

Canadian scientists at two national laboratories are working on a stipped-down, easy-to-manufacturer hospital ventilator to meet the demand for machines because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a story in The Globe and Mail.

Investissement Québec loans $7.5 million to manufacturing SMEs

Investissement Québec’s Productivity Innovation Initiative has announced a $7.5 million loan to aerospace supplier APN Global and Liggo, a startup that develops production management technology.

Ontario firm invests in Canada's 1st full production 3D facility

An Ontario manufacturer is investing $11.5 million to establish the country's first full production additive manufacturing and advanced manufacturing centre.

College opens Centre for Smart Manufacturing

Conestoga College officially launched its new Centre for Smart Manufacturing located at the Cambridge, ON, campus of the college's Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

Economic news brightens for Canada

A rising Canadian dollar and a new report by the Conference Board of Canada are the most recent indicators that Canada's economy is turning around, albeit slowly.

Dave Barber joins Doosan Infracore

David Barber has joined Doosan Infracore America's Tool Division as general manager of marketing. He will be responsible for branding and marketing activities in North, Central and South America.

Record attendance at DMG/Mori Seiki USA event

More than 3200 visitors from more than 10 countries attended the DMG/Mori Seiki USA Innovation Days May 7-10, held at the company's US headquarters in Hoffman Estates, IL.

Mazak expands spindle rebuild centre

Mazak has announced that it is expanding and updating the Spindle Rebuild Department at its Kentucky Manufacturing Campus.

IMTS 2016: Collaboration meets digital innovation

In a world where technological changes are occurring at a dizzying rate, no company can be an expert in every area. Partnering with companies with expertise in different technology areas is the best way for suppliers to provide manufacturers with comprehensive solutions for customers. This collaborative approach was clearly evident at IMTS 2016.

Ontario's energy costs driving manufacturers out

As Ontario's energy costs continue to rise, more manufacturers are looking outside of the province to invest according to the Coalition of Concerned Manufacturers of Ontario.

Bystronic adds to Quebec team

Bystronic Canada has announced the appointment of Ed Bonarek as Direct Sales Engineer for Western Quebec, headquarterd in Montreal.

Daimler dives deeper into AM

A pilot project for automated 3D printing of replacement parts and series-production components has been a huge success for Daimler, the automotive manufacturer says.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn