OTTAWA—Canadian manufacturing decreased 1.6 per cent in February, dragging down the country’s GDP by 0.2 per cent, according to Statistics Canada.
Goods producing sectors fell 0.6 per cent. The hardest hit were motor vehicle and vehicle parts makers, where production slipped 7.5 per cent.
Machinery dropped by 3.3 per cent and fabricated metal products decreased 2.7 per cent. However, wood production increased.
Advances in mining and support activities were offset by retreats in oil and natural gas extraction.
As a result, truck transportation and pipeline transportation of natural gas also fell.
TD Economist Diana Petramala says manufacturing should have a better performance next month, noting most of February’s decline was tied to weakness in the U.S.
“Recent economic data from Canada’s largest trading partner point to a pick-up in activity in March,” Petramala said in a TD Economics statement.
Employment gains also suggest moderate economic growth around the corner.
“All said, even with February’s decline, Canadian real GDP is on track for one last hurrah in the first quarter with a gain of 3.8 per cent,” Petramala projected.