Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Monthly Survey of Manufacturing

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

The Daily

Friday, September 14, 2007
July 2007

Manufacturing shipments rebounded from a sharp 2.0% drop in June, gaining 2.3% to $50.0 billion in July, the highest level since March. Most of the strength in July came from a return to more normal shipment levels by motor vehicle manufacturers following a sharp decrease in June.

right click the chart to save it.

Manufacturing shipments have been heavily influenced by fluctuations in the transportation equipment industry over the past several months. Excluding the motor vehicle and parts industries, shipments advanced 0.4% in July for the fifth gain in the last six months.

Using constant dollars, which take price fluctuations into account, the volume of manufacturing shipments increased 4.3% to $46.1 billion. This was the eighth increase in the past ten months, pushing the volume of shipments to the highest level since December 2005. Additionally, the 4.3% jump was the largest increase in almost four years.

Although the bulk of the increase in July came from transportation equipment manufacturers, on an industry-by-industry basis, 12 of the 21 manufacturing industries increased in July, representing about 63% of total shipments.

Durable goods manufacturers reported a 3.7% increase in shipments, the first increase in four months. The transportation equipment industry accounted for most of the gains. Shipments of non-durable goods were up 0.7%, gaining for the fifth time in six months as petroleum and coal shipments resumed their upward march.

Note to readers

Beginning with the August 2007 reference month (October 16 release), Statistics Canada will publish revised estimates for sales of goods manufactured (formerly referred to as "shipments"), inventories and orders obtained from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (MSM). The estimates will be revised back to January 2004 for unadjusted data, and back to January 2002 for seasonally adjusted data.

The revised estimates will be based on a new sample of respondents. It is common practice within many business surveys programs for the sample to be periodically refreshed so that it and the target population can be closely aligned, and so that respondent burden can be minimized.

For the MSM, the total sample size remained at about 10,500 establishments, but nearly one-half of the establishments were rotated out of the sample in order to avoid long-term respondent fatigue. The estimates derived from the refreshed sample will be linked at a detailed level in order to prevent data breaks and ensure the continuity of the time series.

New orders advanced for the first time in three months, gaining 3.2% and jumping to a record high in July. Unfilled factory orders continued to mount, increasing 2.9% compared to June.

Motor vehicle industry bounces back

The motor vehicle industry rebounded 17.6% in July to levels more in line with norms and that more properly reflect timing shifts associated with summer plant shutdowns. Over the first seven months of 2007, motor vehicle shipments were 0.7% higher than in the same period in 2006.

Petroleum and coal product manufacturers reported a 3.2% increase in shipments in July. This was the fifth increase in the past six months, and brought shipments to the highest level since August 2006. After weakening in the second half of 2006, petroleum and coal shipments have been trending upwards throughout 2007.

On the down side, primary metal shipments lost ground for the second time in three months, dropping 2.6%. Prices dropped 3.8%, plus a labour dispute at a major primary metal factory, though resolved by the end of the month, negatively impacted shipments in July.

Ontario leads rebound in July

Provincial manufacturing results were evenly split between gains and losses in July. However, the resurgence in Ontario's transportation equipment industry helped to pull shipments up as a whole.

Ontario reported a strong 5.2% jump in shipments after decreasing 3.9% in June. The transportation industry, which accounts for over 30% of Ontario's manufacturing base, rebounded 14.6% in July following three months of decline capped by a 9.5% plunge in June. Nine of Canada's top ten motor vehicle manufacturers are located in Ontario.

Manufacturing shipments, provinces and territories
  June 2007r July 2007p June to July 2007
  Seasonally adjusted
  $ millions % change
Canada 48,888 50,008 2.3
Newfoundland and Labrador 317 278 -12.3
Prince Edward Island 132 125 -5.3
Nova Scotia 800 805 0.6
New Brunswick 1,334 1,409 5.6
Quebec 11,925 11,776 -1.3
Ontario 23,032 24,219 5.2
Manitoba 1,339 1,346 0.5
Saskatchewan 890 878 -1.3
Alberta 5,630 5,705 1.3
British Columbia 3,479 3,461 -0.5
Yukon 2 2 -2.3
Northwest Territories including Nunavut 6 3 -52.2

Some of the gains in Ontario were offset by a downturn in neighbouring Quebec. Shipments decreased for a third consecutive month, giving up most of the gains reported earlier in the year. Quebec's shipments of transportation equipment did not experience the same rebound as those in Ontario, dropping 3.5% for the third decrease in four months.

Primary metal manufacturers in Quebec also reported poor shipment results in July, down 8.0%. A month-long strike at a major plant, combined with a 3.8% drop in primary metal prices, were leading contributors to this decline.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported a sharp 12.3% drop in shipments in July, largely due to a sizeable 42.1% downturn by food manufacturers. Seafood product preparation and packaging manufacturers led the decline in the province's food industry. Despite July's overall drop, provincial shipments were 50.5% higher than a year ago.

Unfilled orders continue to surge

Unfilled orders gained 2.9% to $51.6 billion in July, for a 10th consecutive monthly increase. The trend for unfilled orders has been steadily improving since last summer, which was preceded by a one-year period of relative stability. Unfilled orders may be considered an indicator for future shipments, assuming orders are not cancelled.

Aerospace products and parts, due to the long-term nature of manufacturing in this industry, accounted for about 44% of total unfilled orders and continued to lead the upward march in July. Aerospace product manufacturers reported a 4.3% or $930 million increase in unfilled orders, largely due to continued demand for regional jets and turboprops. Unfilled orders in the aerospace industry have increased a substantial 60.6% compared to July 2006.

Excluding aerospace products and parts, unfilled orders increased a more modest 1.8% compared to June, and 6.0% compared to July 2006. Miscellaneous manufacturers reported a 26.6% surge in unfilled orders in July, largely because of strength in medical equipment and supplies as well as jewellery and silverware manufacturing. Computer and electronics manufacturers (+3.6%) and machinery manufacturers (+1.9%) also reported a rise in unfilled orders.

right click the chart to save it.

New orders jump to record level

After two months of losses, new orders increased 3.2%, reaching an all-time high of $51.4 billion in July.

The transportation equipment industry provided most of the boost to new orders in July. Motor vehicle manufacturers saw a 17.8% jump, and aerospace products and parts manufacturers were up 13.1%. As a whole, new orders in the transportation equipment manufacturing industry were up 9.4% or $888 million. Computer and electronic product manufacturers also surged 20.9% or $284 million.

Primary metal was one of the few industries with new orders dropping, losing 2.2% or $98 million compared to June.

Inventory levels increase slightly

Inventory levels edged up 0.2% to $63.1 billion in July. The increase was due to a 1.5% jump in raw material inventories, as both goods-in-process and finished-product inventories were drawn down during the month. After increasing slowly throughout 2006, inventories have remained fairly stable during 2007, increasing only 0.4% since the start of the year.

right click the chart to save it.

Only 10 of 21 industries reported an increase in their inventories in July, led by a 5.3% gain in the petroleum and coal industry. Inventory levels in this industry have increased 20% since December 2006.

Chemical manufacturers also reported rising inventories (+1.6%) in July. These inventories rose for five consecutive months, largely due to pharmaceutical manufacturers who introduced a number of new product lines over the past year.

Primary metal manufacturers offset some of the increases, reporting lower inventories for the fourth time in the past five months. Inventory levels peaked at almost $7 billion in December 2006, before tapering off to $6.6 billion in July.

Inventory-to-shipment ratio down as shipments rebound

With shipments rebounding following the drop in June and inventory levels remaining fairly steady, the inventory-to-shipment ratio decreased in July to 1.26. With the exception of the blip in June (1.29), the inventory-to-shipment ratio has been steady at 1.26 since April.

The inventory-to-shipment ratio is a measure of the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if shipments were to remain at their current level.

right click the chart to save it.

Available on CANSIM: tables 304-0014, 304-0015 and 377-0008.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2101.

All data are benchmarked to the 2004 Annual Survey of Manufactures and Logging.

Data from the August Monthly Survey of Manufacturing will be released on October 16.

For general information or to order data, contact the dissemination officer (toll-free 1-866-873-8789; 613-951-9497; fax: 613-951-9499; To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Elton Cryderman (613-951-4317,, Manufacturing, Construction and Energy Division.

Tables. Table(s).