Another poor month for manufacturing

Canada’s battered factory sector suffered through another poor month in January, recording a disappointing 0.2 per cent drop in sales that suggests the economy continues to struggle.

Canada’s battered factory sector suffered through another poor month in January, recording a disappointing 0.2 per cent drop in sales that suggests the economy continues to struggle.

In terms of volume, which is directly related to economic growth, the news was worse as output fell 0.4 per cent. The poor result — analysts had expected a rebound from December’s 3.3 per cent stumble — was eased somewhat by a 0.5 per cent volume increase in the wholesale trade figure.

But economists say January is shaping up as having been another soft month for gross domestic product, although stronger than December’s 0.2 per cent setback. The month also saw a fall-off in jobs, housing starts and exports.

The biggest gainer was Alberta, where sales rose 6.3 per cent to $6.3 billion, the largest increase since November 2012.