OTTAWA: Manufacturing sales increased for the eighth time in nine months, advancing 0.4 per cent to $44.8 billion in May, according to Statistics Canada.
The motor vehicle and parts industries were the primary contributors to the higher sales. Excluding motor vehicle and parts, total manufacturing sales edged down 0.1 per cent.
Higher sales were reported in 9 of 21 industries, representing 48.9 per cent of total sales.
Industries manufacturing durable goods saw sales rise 1.6 per cent in May, more than enough to counterbalance the 0.7 per cent drop in the non-durable goods sector. Lower prices in petroleum contributed to the decrease in non-durable goods.
In the transportation equipment sector, which posted a 3.1 per cent increase overall, the motor vehicle industry was up 4.6 per cent, while motor vehicle parts manufacturing increased 2.8 per cent. Miscellaneous manufacturing grew 17.9 per cent and the food industry saw 1.5 per cent growth.
Higher sales in Ontario were largely attributable to the motor vehicle (+4.5 per cent) and motor vehicle parts (+2.7 per cent) industries, as well as the miscellaneous manufacturing (+35.6 per cent) industry. Manufacturing activity in Ontario has increased in five of the past six months.
In British Columbia, sales increased in paper manufacturing (+6.0 per cent) and computer and electronic product manufacturing (+25.3 per cent).
In Quebec, manufacturing sales were down in May following a 1.1 per cent increase in April. An 8.4 per cent sales decrease in the petroleum and coal product industry was price and volume based. The chemical industry (-7.4 per cent) also contributed to lower sales.
Manufacturers in New Brunswick also posted lower sales following a strong April. Much of the decline was concentrated in the durable goods sector.