TORONTO—Canada’s manufacturing sector looks to have stagnated in April, according to RBC’s Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index.
The headline PMI score—a composite indicator designed to provide a snapshot of the health of the country’s manufacturing sector—registered a 50.1, an improvement from the industry’s contraction in March.
In March the index registered a 49.3.
“Canada’s manufacturing sector kept its head above water in April, registering some improvement over the surprising series low recorded last month,” RBC senior vice-president and chief economist Craig Wright said in a statement about the results.
“While the overall gains made in April were tepid, we expect manufacturing output to pick-up, augmenting export activity and supporting Canada’s growth prospects.”
According to RBC, manufacturing output levels in April were largely the same as March, despite the volume of new orders having increased, albeit only marginally.
Employment was also little-changed, seeing only a slight rise in staff numbers since March.
Incoming new work for Canadian manufacturers increased in April, with firms generally linking this to greater demand
Overall, the rise in total new work also reflected larger volumes of new export orders, which rose at the strongest rate in six months during April.
Despite higher new order requirements, production levels were largely the same as one month previously.
The quantity of inputs bought by manufacturers was also broadly the same as in the previous survey period, according to the financial firm, rising only fractionally over March.
Suppliers’ delivery times continued to lengthen in April, with approximately seven per cent of panellists reporting a deterioration in vendor performance.