IHS Markit PMIClick image to enlarge

A sustained rebound in output and new business levels continued in October, with a modest improvement in business conditions in Canadian manufacturing, according to the IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), released November 1.

Key findings:

  • Modest growth of output and incoming new work
  • Employment increased at a slower pace in October
  • Cost inflation picked up from September's 86-month low
  • Manufacturers optimistic about growth over the next 12 months

The seasonally adjusted PMI posted 51.2 in October, up from 51.0 in September and above the crucial 50.0 no-change value for the second month running. The latest reading was the highest since February, but it still signalled only a marginal improvement in overall operating conditions.

Faster rates of output and new order growth boosted the headline PMI in October, more than offsetting a slightly weaker contribution from the employment component.

The latest expansion of production volumes was the strongest for eight months, although it was still softer than the long-run survey average. Manufacturers observed a gradual recovery in client demand, especially in domestic markets. At the same time, goods producers noted that subdued global trade conditions remained a drag on growth.

Total new work increased for the second month running in October. In contrast, latest data revealed a renewed drop in export sales, which survey respondents often attributed to intense competitive pressures.

Employment numbers rose again in October, but the rate of expansion was marginal, and slower than it was in September. Some manufacturers suggested that a lack of new work to replace completed projects had constrained staff recruitment at their plants. A marked decline in backlogs of work during October also pointed to a lack of pressure on business capacity.

Manufacturers remained cautious in terms of their input buying during the latest survey period. Softer demand for raw materials helped to alleviate some of the strain on suppliers, with vendor lead-times lengthening only slightly in October.

Latest data signalled a marginal accumulation of pre-production inventories in manufacturing, while stocks of finished goods were depleted for the first time in three months. A number of survey respondents commented on efforts to boost cash flow by streamlining their post-production inventories.

Meanwhile, input cost inflation accelerated from September’s seven-year low. Manufacturers often commented on higher commodity prices in the latest survey period. Factory gate charges nonetheless increased only slightly, with some firms noting that subdued business conditions had held back their pricing power.

Looking ahead, manufacturers in Canada are optimistic overall about their prospects for growth during the next 12 months. The degree of positive sentiment picked up to its highest since July. This was linked to new product launches and, in some cases, hopes of an improvement in global trade conditions.

Canada, US manufacturing improves

Despite the continued economic uncertainty around the globe and the faltering manufacturing industry in China, North America’s manufacturing industry continues to show signs of improvement.

CWBi Acorn, Sask. Polytechnic offer free welding video series

CWBi Acorn has partnered with Saskatchewan Polytechnic to produce online lessons that cover topics in welding applications and technology to keep students’ education on track during a tumultuous school year.

Machining sector mourns passing of Fritz Althoff

On April 16, 2020, the machine tool community and manufacturing sector as a whole lost an highly respected member with the passing of Fritz Althoff at the age of 86.

Sandvik completes two acquisitions

Sandvik Coromant had a busy holiday season, completing a duo of high profile strategic acquisitions.

Toyoda wins auto award for machining technology

JTEKT Toyoda Americas Corp. has won the 2017 Automotive News PACE Award for its high speed synchronization technology on its GS300 and GS700 gear skiving multi-tasking horizontal machining centres.

Learning at breakfast

BIG Kaiser's most recent Breakfast and Learn sessions attracted more than 250 manufacturers. Held at the company's Chicago area facility in Hoffman Estates, IL, the sessions, which ran May 17, 18 and 19, were an opportunity to learn and network.

Canadians wary of autonomous cars: research

Autonomous vehicles may be the future but Canadians don't trust them yet, according to new research released by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA). The research results come on the eve of a major conference that looks at the guture of autonomous vehicles.

CTMA Annual Shotgun Golf Tournament awards

The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA) held its 23rd Annual Shotgun Golf Tournament on Sept 14.

Five Axis Machining: West Coast Wonder

A B.C. design and manufacturing company adopted a five axis strategy. Read how Rainhouse Manufacturing Canada is benefiting from its investments.

Largest naval ship built in Canada in 20 years

Meet the Asterix, the first large naval ship to be built in Canada in more than 20 years. The new ship, built by Davie Shipbuilding, made its debut on July 20, 2017.

Hamilton rail car maker hit with COVID outbreak

National Steel Car, a Hamilton, Ont.-based manufacturer of rail cars and rail car parts, has voluntarily suspended operations because of a COVID-19 outbreak at its factory.

Magellan to manufacture engine castings for Pratt & Whitney

Magellan Aerospace  has signed a six year agreement with Pratt & Whitney to manufacture aluminum castings for its Next Generation Product Family of engines.

$5 M government support for 3D manufacturing

The Federal Government has announced a $5 million investment to support additive manufacturing developments in Western Canada.

Steve de Kleine joints Komet in Canada

Steve de Kleine has joined Komet of Canada Tooling Solutions, Mississauga, ON, as technical specialist.

OMAX celebrates 20th anniversary

OMAX Corp., Kent, WA, celebrated its 20th anniversary with a open house and technology event on August 20.

The "Shape the Future" one-day event welcomed close to 600 people and include live cutting demonstrations, interactive technical sessions and a tour of the company's recently expanded manufacturing facility.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn