OTTAWA — Manufacturing sales rose 1.4 per cent in September to $41.7 billion, largely reflecting increases in the motor vehicle industry. Statistics Canada reports manufacturing sales have increased in three of the past four months after dropping to a recent low of $38.5 billion in May. Despite the recent gains, sales remained 18.6 per cent below September 2008 levels. While most of September’s gains were in the motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts industries, other durable goods industries, such as primary metals and fabricated metals, also contributed.
Constant dollar manufacturing sales rose 1.8 per cent in September. Sales advanced in 14 of the 21 manufacturing industries, accounting for 53.1 per cent of total sales. Motor vehicle sales increased 16.4 per cent to $3.8 billion, the highest level since September 2008, while motor vehicle parts sales gained 13.7 per cent.Excluding motor vehicles, parts and accessories, manufacturing sales edged down 0.4 per cent during the month. Primary metal manufacturers reported a 6.7 per cent sales gain compared with August. Some of these gains were offset by a steep decline in the aerospace products and parts industry, where production fell 28.6 per cent in September after a 34.2 per cent drop in August. Other industries reporting sales declines included chemical products (down 2.5 per cent) and petroleum and coal products (down 1.6). Sales in Saskatchewan jumped 16.1 per cent from August, while Ontario was up five per cent. Most of the weakness in manufacturing was centred in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, which reported 2.2 per cent and 12.4 per cent declines respectively. Inventory levels fell