Manufacturing sales highest in six yearsClick image to enlarge

Canada's manufacturing industry continues to see strong growth and the latest figures from the Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) shows that the business conditions in the sector have improved at the fastest pace since April 2011.

According to Markit Canada, this reflected a steeper rise in new work and greater job creation, alongside another robust increase in production volumes. Higher levels of client spending encouraged a sustained rebound in input buying and inventory building across the manufacturing sector. However, strong demand for inputs contributed to rising raw material prices in April, with cost inflation accelerating to its fastest since May 2014.

“April’s survey highlights that the Canadian manufacturing sector continued to rebound from the soft patch seen over the past two years," says Tim Moore, senior economist at survey compilers, IHS Markit. "The latest manufacturing performance was the strongest since 2011, led by a recovery in demand across the oil and gas sector. Manufacturers also sought to rebuild capacity, as stocks of inputs were accumulated at the fastest pace since May 2012 and job creation reached a six-year peak.

"Manufacturing growth remained brightest in Alberta & B.C. during April, but there were signs that the recovery has become more broad-based. In particular, manufacturers in Quebec pointed to the strongest upturn in overall manufacturing conditions for almost five years.”

At 55.9 in April, up from 55.5 in March, the seasonally adjusted PMI registered above the 50.0 no-change threshold for the fourteenth month running. Moreover, the latest reading signalled the strongest improvement in business conditions for exactly six years.

This mainly reflected faster rises in new orders and employment numbers in April. Production volumes increased at a robust pace during April, with the latest expansion only slightly slower than the 40-month peak seen in March. There were signs that stronger demand had created renewed pressures on operating capacity, as highlighted by a rise in backlogs of work for the first time since the start of 2017.

Greater-than expected sales growth also contributed to a depletion of finished goods inventories, although the rate of decline was only marginal. New order growth accelerated to its steepest since November 2013. Manufacturers mainly cited improved domestic sales, supported by a rebound in energy sector spending. April data pointed to a moderate increase in new export orders, with the rate of expansion the fastest since March 2016.

Increased volumes of incoming new work underpinned a robust and accelerated upturn in staff hiring across the manufacturing sector during April. The rate of job creation was the steepest since March 2011. This was partly driven by a continued rebound in business optimism regarding the year-ahead outlook. Reflecting this, the balance of Canadian manufacturers expecting a rise in production requirements over the next 12 months reached its highest level since February 2014.

Meanwhile, the latest survey revealed a robust rise in purchasing activity among manufacturing companies, which fuelled the steepest pace of stock building for almost five years. Stronger demand for raw materials contributed to a sharp and accelerated pace of cost inflation in April. Higher prices for steel and chemicals were mentioned in particular. Pressure on margins resulted in another robust increase in factory gate prices.

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FABTECH 2013

North America's premier event for metal fabricating, forming and welding takes place in Chicago, IL November 18-21

North America's largest event for the metal fabricating and forming industry takes place November 18 to 21 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.

The annual event attracts fabricators from across North America. This year, event organizers are expecting more than 35,000 attendees to visit the 1,500 exhibitors already registered for the event.

This year's events includes an expanded education program with more than 100 sessions, including 64 new courses that have not been offered at previous FABTECH events. New sessions include presentations on trends and advances in laser technology and new workshops about lean manufacturing, workforce development and press brake operation skills.

Special events include a welding competition, new product presentations, a reception for women in manufacturing and a "cocktails and comedy" event on Wednesday, November 20.

For event details and for registration, visit FABTECH online at www.fabtechexpo.com.

SHOW HOURS

Monday, November 18, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm 
Tuesday, November 19, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Wednesday, November 20, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Thursday, November 21, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

  •  State of the Industry: Executive Outlook

Open to all attendees, the event takes place Tuesday, November 19, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse.

  • ·      Solutions for a Qualified Workforce Pipline

Open to all attendees, panel discussion takes place Wednesday, November 20 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse.

  • ·      Robotic Arc Welding Contents

Robotic welding technicians compete on Tuesday, November 19 and Wednesday, November 20 in the North Hall, Booth N2099.

  • ·      Cocktails and Comedy

Doors open at 5:00 pm at the FABTECH Theatre, Grand Concourse, on Wednesday, November 20.

EDUCATIONAL EVENTS: EDITOR'S PICKS

·      Precision Punch & Cutting Technology 8:00 am - 10:00 am Monday, November 18

·      Automation Solutions for Press Brakes with Tech Tour 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Monday, November 18

·      Welding Disimilar Metals conference 8:15 am - 2:30 pm, Monday, November 18

·      Introduction to Laser Cutting Best Practices 8:00 am - 10:00 am, Tuesday, November 19

·      New Developments in Waterjet Cutting 10:30 am - 12:30 pm, Tuesday, November 19

·      Inspecting and Troubleshooting Welded Tube 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Tuesday, November 19

·      Innovations in Plasma Cutting 8:00 am - 10:00 am Wednesday, November 20

·      Game Changing Technology to Increase Productivity 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm Wednesday, November 20

·      High Energy Density Welding Processes 8:00 am - 11:00 am Wednesday, November 20

Check event details online at www.fabtechexpo.com/learn#.

 

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