Manufacturing sales increased by 5.2% in January, led by gains in the motor vehicle industry. PHOTO courtesy GM.
Manufacturing sales increased in seven provinces in January, led by Ontario and Alberta, according to Statistics Canada. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan posted the largest decline.
Following a decrease in December, sales in Ontario gained 5.2% to $32.6 billion in January, led by the motor vehicle industry (+14.3%). The increase in the motor vehicle industry accounted for slightly over one-third of the increase in the province, while lower production in the aerospace product and parts industry (-14.6%) partly offset the increase. Compared with 12 months earlier, total sales in Ontario increased 18.3% in January.
In Alberta, sales reached a record high, rising 11.5% to $9.7 billion in January following two consecutive monthly declines. The petroleum and coal product industry (+25.7%) was the largest contributor to the increase, followed by the chemical (+17.3%) and food (+5.8%) industries. Year over year, sales rose 21.9% in January.
In Saskatchewan, sales fell 9.0% to $2.2 billion in January, almost entirely driven by lower sales of chemical products (-52.7%) and was partly offset by higher sales of petroleum and coal products. Despite the monthly decline, total sales increased 17.9% in January on a yearly basis.
Looking at manufacturing sales from a major metropolitan area standpoint, sales increased in 13 of 15 census metropolitan areas in January, led by Edmonton and Toronto, while Regina experienced the largest decline.
After two consecutive monthly declines, sales in Edmonton increased 14.8% to $4.8 billion in January, mainly attributable to higher sales of petroleum and coal products (+27.6%).
Sales in Toronto rose 2.7% to $12.7 billion in January, mainly on higher sales in the food industry (+9.0%). Meanwhile, the aerospace product and parts industry (-16.2%) posted largest decrease.
Sales in Regina declined 28.0% to $850 million in January, following a 16.9% increase in December. The decrease was primarily driven by lower sales of chemicals and partially offset by higher sales of petroleum and coal products.