RBC Economics reports that Canadian manufacturing sales moved up 3.4% in November of last year, after falling 0.6% in October.
It’s the biggest monthly gain for Canadian manufacturing since March 2015, says RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen in his January 19 economic update.
– after controlling for the impact of price increases, in particular a 6% rise in petroleum prices, the real increase (volume sales) is 2.5%;
– that increase was led by a 14.7% (nominally 12.9%) recovery in vehicle manufacturer sales following recent transitory production disruptions;
– machinery sales decreased for a second straight month, but were still up 14% from a year ago.
NAFTA uncertainty remains a threat to the manufacturing outlook, but the continued strength of domestic manufacturer machinery sales and an increase in equipment imports in November suggest Canadian businesses still increased investment in the fourth quarter.
“Today’s data adds to the list of indicators — not least of which is the solid labour market data — suggesting that although growth has slowed somewhat, the economy remains on a firm footing,” Janzen concludes.