Manufacturing sales rebound despite lower prices

OTTAWA — Manufacturing sales rebounded slightly in September after a sharp drop in August, despite total numbers being minimized by decreasing product prices.

Manufacturing sales edged up 0.1 percent to $52.2 billion in September after a sizeable 3.7 percent decrease in August, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada. However, measured in constant dollars, manufacturing sales rose 0.7 percent compared with August as a result of decreasing industrial product prices.

At the industry level, 13 of 21 manufacturing industries increased in September.

The transportation equipment industry reported a 1.1 percent increase, the largest gain in September and increasing for the fourth time in five months. Sales gains were mostly due to a 4.8 percent rise in production by aerospace product and parts manufacturers.

Motor vehicle manufacturers reported a 0.3 percent decline in September after slipping 4.7 percent in August.

Statistics Canada

Primary metal manufacturers posted the most notable decrease in September, reporting a 3 percent drop in sales. Sales by primary metal manufacturers were affected for the most part by a 2.8 percent decrease in prices.

Manufacturing sales results were mixed at the provincial level, with an even split between gains and losses.

Manufacturers in Alberta led all provincial gains in September, reporting a 4.2 percent increase in sales. Despite a 4.5 percent drop in prices, petroleum and coal product manufacturers reported a 7.3 percent increase in sales.

Quebec manufacturers saw sales increase 1.6 percent in September. Sales have been trending steadily higher over the past year and now stand 7.8 percent above September 2007. The transportation equipment industry, led by aerospace products and parts manufacturers, accounted for much of September’s gains. Sales in the transportation industry rebounded by 14.7 percent after three consecutive monthly decreases.

Manufacturing sales in Ontario lost ground for a second consecutive month, slipping 0.9 percent. Primary metal sales for the province decreased 8.6 percent on the heels of a similar sized decrease in August. The transportation equipment industry also reported lower sales in September, declining by 1.2 percent. Motor vehicles and motor vehicle part manufacturers in September both had lower sales in Ontario.

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