Manufacturing sales rolse 1.1 per cent to a record high of $54.4 billion in April. The icrease was due mainly to higher sales in the petroleum and coal product, and primary metal industries, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
Sales were up in 13 of the 21 industries, representing 62% of Canadian manufacturing sales.
Once the effects of price changes are taken into consideration, manufacturing sales volumes rose 0.5 per cent in April.
Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry rose 8.9 per cent to $5.4 billion in April, following two months of declines. The increase reflected higher volumes and prices for petroleum and coal products. After removing the effect of price changes, sales in volume terms increased 7.8 per cent in April.
Sales in the primary metal industry rose 3.8 per cent to $4.2 billion, the third increase in four months. The increase in April partly reflected higher volumes and prices of primary metal products. In constant dollars, sales in the primary metal industry were up 2.5 per cent, indicating higher volumes of products were sold.
Sales also increased in the paper (+3.5 per cent), food (+0.5 per cent) and machinery (+1.5 per cent) industries. These gains were widespread and reflected higher volumes in these industries.
In contrast, sales in the transportation equipment industry decreased 1.3 per cent to $11.0 billion. The decline was mainly attributable to the motor vehicle (-3.7 per cent) and motor vehicle parts (-2.1 per cent) industries, which both posted increases the previous month. Once the effects of price changes are taken into consideration, sales volumes declined by 4.7 per cent in the motor vehicle industry and 2.9 per cent in the motor vehicle parts industry in April.
Sales up in eight provinces
Sales were up in eight provinces in April, with Quebec and Alberta largely responsible for the total national gain, while sales were down in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In Quebec, sales rose 2.6 per cent to a record high $13.0 billion in April, mainly attributable to a 10.9 per cent gain in the transportation equipment industry. Sales also rose in the petroleum and coal products, computer and electronic product and primary metal industries.
Sales in Alberta rose for the third consecutive month, up 3.0 per cent to $6.0 billion in April. Sales were up in 11 of 21 industries, largely driven by a 7.5 per cent increase in the petroleum and coal products industry. Sales were also up in the machinery, food and wood product industries.
The largest monthly decrease was in Saskatchewan, where sales fell 6.0 per cent to $1.3 billion in April. This was the third consecutive decline and was largely attributable to lower sales of non-durable goods.