The drop in shipment levels in October was felt across most industries with 14 of the 21 industries, accounting for 71% of shipments, experiencing declines.
Statistics Canada figures show that the durable goods sector (-2.0) was particularly impacted by a 7.1% drop in motor vehicle manufacturing shipments. A drop off in motor vehicle sales, particularly in the United States, led manufacturers to sharply lower production in October.
Manufacturers of computer and electronic products also reported weaker activity in October, as shipments declined 6.7% to $1.5 billion. Wood products decreased 2.9% to $3.2 billion, as prices fell sharply. Motor vehicle parts also dropped 2.9% to $2.8 billion, mirroring the effects of the slowdown in motor vehicle manufacturing.
Non-durable shipments slid a more modest 0.4% to $21.7 billion. Shipments of chemical products fell 2.1% to $3.9 billion, while paper manufacturing declined 2.1% to $2.7 billion, as both prices and demand for paper products decreased in recent months.
The petroleum, aerospace and railroad rolling stock industries offset some of the declines in October. Petroleum prices jumped 5.3% from already high levels, boosting shipments 3.6% to a record $4.2 billion. Aerospace products manufacturing rebounded 13.2% to $1.0 billion, while production of railroad rolling stock surged 32.1% to $264 million, as manufacturers continue to meet high demand for railcars in North America.
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