Toronto—After registering strong growth in May and June, Canada’s manufacturing sector slowed to a four-month low in July, according to an RBC report.
The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) found a solid improvement in Canadian manufacturing business conditions in the month of July, however numbers were down to 53.1 from 54.8 in June and below the series average of 54.2—the weakest improvement since March.
The PMI found the volume of new orders received by Canadian manufacturers rose in July, which is generally linked to greater client demand.
However, new orders, as well as output, grew at sharply reduced rates compared to June.
The average price paid for inputs fell for the first time since October 2010.
Employment also increased at the slowest pace since April, though the rate of job creation remained solid overall.
“Canada’s manufacturing sector continued to grow in July, albeit at a slower pace, suggesting global growth worries are weighing on the economy,” RBC senior vice-president and chief economist Craig Wright said in a statement. “Employment improved for the sixth consecutive month in the sector, with 21 per cent of firms hiring additional staff, largely driven by increased production.”
As manufacturing conditions remain positive overall, Wright said RBC anticipates further gains in employment and a pick-up in exports will support Canada’s GDP growth in 2012.
Regionally, the report also found manufacturing operating conditions improved in all four Canadian regions in July.
According to the PMI, Quebec posted the strongest month-on-month improvement, while the weakest was reported in Ontario.
The volume of new orders received by manufacturers based in Ontario was unchanged from that recorded one month previously, but growth was recorded elsewhere.
Staffing levels also increased in all four regions during July, with the weakest rate of job creation reported in Ontario.
July data indicated average input costs fell in three regions, with the only exception being Alberta and British Columbia, with slight increases posted.