Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 08:36

MNI DATA IMPACT: Autos Weigh on Canadian Feb Mfg Sales

By Yali N'Diaye

OTTAWA (MNI) - The following are the key points from the February data on the Canadian manufacturing sales released Tuesday by Statistics Canada:

- Sales decreased 0.2% in February, not as much as the 0.5% drop expected by analysts in a MNI survey. However, estimates for the previous two months were revised down: to +0.8% from +1.0% for January and to -1.5% from -1.1% in December. Real sales fell 0.5% after increasing 1.5% in January.

- Declines were widespread across 15 of 21 industries, representing 65.9% of manufacturing trade, led by a 1.4% contraction in durable goods industries. In particular, auto sales fell 4.4% on the month. Excluding motor vehicles, sales actually rose 0.2%. Regionally, weakness was also widespread across six provinces.

- Instead, sales rose 1.2% in non-durable industries, led by a 7.1% gain in petroleum and coal, owing to both higher prices and volumes as "several refineries ramped up production". Sales excluding petroleum and coal were down 0.9% on the month after rising 0.7% in January.

- Inventories increased a further 0.5%, bringing the inventory-to-sales ratio to 1.51, the highest level since June 2009. Forward looking indicators were mixed: unfilled orders fell 0.4% while new orders were up 1.5%.

- The capacity utilization rate fell 0.5 percentage points to 78.2%, with declines both in non-durable and durable industries.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email:


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