In a positive development, the value of new orders for Canadian manufacturers increased 7.1% in January. PHOTO courtesy Cambrio.
Total manufacturing inventory levels grew 0.3% to $120.7 billion in January, according to the latest Survey of Manufacturing published by Statistics Canada.
In constant dollar terms, total inventories were up 0.2% in January.
The rise was driven by higher inventories in the machinery (+4.6%) and primary metal (+3.0%) industries. In contrast, inventories of chemical (-6.3%) and petroleum and coal (-3.3%) products posted the largest decline.
The inventory-to-sales ratio declined from 1.70 in December to 1.63 in January. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.
After three consecutive monthly declines, the total value of unfilled orders rose 1.0% to $109.7 billion in January, mainly on higher unfilled orders of other transportation equipment, fabricated metal products and electrical equipment, appliance and component industries. Lower unfilled orders of aerospace product and parts partially offset the increase.
Another positive development is the value of new orders, which increased 7.1% to $75.1 billion in January, following three consecutive monthly declines. Higher new orders of transportation equipment (+22.9%) and petroleum and coal products (+12.0%) industries contributed the most to the growth.