RBC’s June manufacturing index hits 2015 high

Alberta-BC region still weak, but Ontario benefits from rising exports.

TORONTO — A gauge of business conditions for Canada’s manufacturing sector moved into positive territory in June for the first time since January, although Alberta and B.C. continued to lag other regions.

The RBC Canadian manufacturing index rose to 51.3 last month, indicating the sector’s purchasing managers were generally optimistic about growth prospects.

RBC says the Alberta-British Columbia index remained negative at 44.7 – mainly because of the impact of the drop in oil prices since last year – but the other three regional indexes were above the 50.0 mark that indicates expansion.

Ontario’s regional index hit a seven-month high of 57.0, up from 55.5 in May.

“The province was likely a main beneficiary of rising exports with lower oil prices both supporting US growth and weakening the Canadian dollar,” Royal Bank said.

The Quebec index rose to 52.0 from 50.1 in May and the “Rest of Canada” index rose to 57.5 from 55.9 in May.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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