Canadian manufacturing sales increased for the second consecutive month

Statistics Canada reports that manufacturing sales increased for the second consecutive month, up 2.3% to $53.5 billion in December, following an increase of 2.3% in November.

According to the federal agency, the growth was mainly the result of higher sales of transportation equipment, as well as petroleum and coal products.

Overall, sales were up in 8 of 21 industries, representing 41% of the manufacturing sector. Sales of durable goods rose 2.4%, while sales of non-durable goods increased 2.1%.

Sales of transportation equipment rose 7.4% to $11.2 billion in December, following two consecutive monthly decreases. Much of the increase in December was attributable to a sharp gain in sales of other transportation equipment, which totalled $489 million, and to higher sales in the motor vehicle parts (+7.1%) and motor vehicle assembly (+2.8%) industries. Growth in the motor vehicle parts and motor vehicle assembly industries partly reflected higher sales in the domestic market. The increase in the transportation equipment industry accounted for 65% of the total gain in manufacturing sales.

Sales in the petroleum and coal products industry were up 11.6% to $5.2 billion, their highest level since July 2015. Growth in December was largely attributable to higher volumes at a number of refineries that resumed production following maintenance and retooling work in September and October. Petroleum product prices increased 5.4% in December, according to the Industrial Product Price Index.

Sales fell in 13 industries in December, with computer and electronic products manufacturing recording the sharpest decline, down 5.0% to $1.1 billion.

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