OTTAWA—Canadian manufacturing sales rose 0.5 per cent in September, boosted by the petroleum and coal product industry, Statistics Canada said Thursday.
The agency said the manufacturing sales totalled $53.7 billion for the month as seven of 21 industries gained ground.
In constant dollars, overall sales increased 0.7 per cent, indicating higher volumes of manufactured goods were sold in the month.
“Both headline and volume prints for manufacturing sales were surprisingly strong despite concerns that labour disruptions at an assembly plant in Ontario could negatively impact automotive sales,” TD Bank senior economist Fotios Raptis wrote in a report.
“This report follows on the heels of a hot August report that featured a rebound in automotive production.”
The stronger-than-expected report comes as economists predict the economy is slowing from the red-hot pace it set in the first half of the year.
The economic strength in the first half of the year helped prompt the Bank of Canada to raise its key interest rate target twice this year, but the central bank kept it on hold last month as it also forecast growth would slow.
CIBC economist Nick Exarhos noted the gains in manufacturing in September appeared to have been very narrowly based.
“All told, today’s results were better than we were expecting, but the narrow scope of the increase and the still troubling trend in export volumes continues to point to reasons for concern ahead,” he wrote in a report.
Sales of non-durable goods rose 1.7 per cent to $25.4 billion, while sales of durable goods fell 0.5 per cent to $28.4 billion.
The petroleum and coal product industry saw sales grow 10.3 per cent to $5.5 billion, boosted by gains in prices and volumes.
Meanwhile, sales in the transportation equipment industry fell 0.7 per cent to $10.3 billion as sales in the motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts sectors lost ground.
Regionally, sales rose in seven provinces in September, led by Quebec, which gained 1.7 per cent and New Brunswick, which rose 13.1 per cent.
Sales in Ontario fell 0.9 per cent to $24.4 billion in September.