OTTAWA: Manufacturing sales in February continued to inch their way ahead of a low in May last year with a 0.1% gain for a total of $44.1 billion reported by 12 of 21 industries, says Statistics Canada.
Constant dollar manufacturing sales increased 0.3%, the sixth consecutive increase.
The agency says sales of non-durable goods rose 0.4%, continuing to outperform durable goods manufacturing, which dropped 0.3 per cent.
Gains were largely offset by decreases in nine industries. Here are the highlights:
• Plastic and rubber product manufacturers’ sales rose 4.4% during the month following a 9% gain in January.
• Chemical products sales were up 4.3 per cent.
• Petroleum and coal products decreased 3.9% as a result of a combination of factors, including lower prices and the impact of fires at two refineries.
• Motor vehicle manufacturing sales decreased 1.1%, reflecting temporary shutdowns. Motor vehicle parts sales decreased 3.4% and aerospace production declined 0.4%.
• Provincial results were evenly split in February, with most of the sales increases in Western Canada and Ontario.
• Inventory levels remained stable, up 0.2 per cent.
• The greatest inventory increases (10.2%) were in petroleum and coal products.
• Primary metal inventories fell 4.5%, half of the decline coming from lower prices.
• The inventory-to-sales ratio held steady at 1.35%, a return to a level seen prior to the economic downturn.