Thursday, May 16, 2019 - 09:08

MNI DATA IMPACT: March Mfg Sales Up 2.1% As Expected

By Courtney Tower

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following are the key points from the March data on Canadian manufacturing sales released Thursday by Statistics Canada:

- Sales increased 2.1% in March, matching expectations by analysts surveyed by MNI. While sales were up in eight of the 10 provinces, and well reversed the 0.2% decline in February, they were up only in 12 of 21 industries covered, representing 56% of the Canadian manufacturing sector. Real sales were up 1.6% after decreasing by -0.3% in February.

- Among sectors posting the largest gains was a 4.5% increase for sales of transportation equipment after three consecutive monthly declines. Their main gain was in motor vehicle sales (+6.5%), with higher sales at all Canadian motor vehicle assembly plants. Several of these drew down accumulated inventories. Real sales for motor vehicles were up 5.9% on the month.

- Sales were up for the third consecutive month in the petroleum and coal product industry (+8.2%), on higher sales from refineries in both western and eastern Canada. Real sales in this industry were up 3.2% in March.

- Inventories overall rose (+1.0%) for the fourth consecutive month, and in March were 9.5% higher than in March a year ago. Sales rose 1.3% in non-durable industries, and by +2.9% in durable industries. Year-over-year, these categories were up 1.5% and 2.4% respectively.

- The unadjusted capacity utilization rate in manufacturing increased to 80.7% in March from 78.5% in February, in 17 of the 21 industries.

--MNI Ottawa Bureau; tel: +1 202-371-2121; email:


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