Manufacturing expansion picks upClick image to enlarge

In September, Canadian manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace in seven months as new orders and production picked up.

According to a Canadian Press report, the IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, rose to a seasonally adjusted 51.0 in September, its highest level since February, from 49.1 in August. Readings above 50 indicate the sector is expanding.

“The latest PMI figures for Canada provide some cause for optimism at the end of the third quarter,” said Andrew Harker, economics associate director at IHS Markit. “Tentative signs of demand improving helped firms secure greater volumes of new business and increase production slightly, though conditions clearly remain challenging.”

Trade tensions between the U.S. and China have contributed to a slowdown in the global economy.

A measure of output rose to a six-month high at 50.2, from 49.4 in August, as new orders rose. New orders climbed to 50.7, the highest since February of this year, up from 47.5 in August, while employment also reached a seven-month high, rising to 52.1 from 50.5 in the prior month.

Canada’s job market has been robust this year, and the Bank of Canada has left interest rates on hold even though other central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, have eased rates.

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