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.

Related subjects

February 2010 (Previous release)

Manufacturing sales edged up 0.1% in February to $44.1 billion. Sales have advanced in eight of the past nine months, since the recent low reached in May 2009.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales increased 0.3% in February. Constant dollar sales have increased for six consecutive months.

Sales of non-durable goods rose 0.4% in February, compared with a 0.3% drop by durable good manufacturers. Non-durable goods manufacturers have been generally out-performing the durable goods sector over the past year.

Sales gains were reported in 12 of 21 industries, representing 42.7% of total sales.

Manufacturing sales edge up in February

Note to readers

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted and are expressed in current dollars unless otherwise specified.

Preliminary data are provided for the current reference month. Revised data, based on late responses, are updated for the three previous months.

Non-durable goods industries include food, beverage and tobacco products, textile mills, textile product mills, clothing, leather and allied products, paper, printing and related support activities, petroleum and coal products, chemicals, and plastics and rubber products.

Durable goods industries include wood products, non-metallic mineral products, primary metals, fabricated metal products, machinery, computer and electronic products, electrical equipment, appliances and components, transportation equipment, furniture and related products and miscellaneous manufacturing.

Production-based industries

For the aerospace industry and shipbuilding industries, the value of production is used instead of sales of goods manufactured. This value is calculated by adjusting monthly sales of goods manufactured by the monthly change in inventories of goods in process and finished products manufactured.

Unfilled orders are a stock of orders that will contribute to future sales assuming that the orders are not cancelled.

New orders are those received whether sold in the current month or not. New orders are measured as the sum of sales for the current month plus the change in unfilled orders from the previous month to the current month.

Industry results mixed

Although 12 industries reported gains in February, these were largely offset by decreases in the remaining 9. Sales by plastic and rubber product manufacturers rose 4.4% during the month, following a 9.0% gain in January.

Chemical product manufacturers also reported strong gains, up 4.3% in February. Sales in this industry have increased for five consecutive months, reaching the highest level since October 2008. Much of the strength in February reflected sales gains by pharmaceutical and medical manufacturers, triggered in part by medical aid being sent to Haiti.

The petroleum and coal products industry (-3.9%) reported the largest decrease in February. Sales were pushed down by a combination of factors, including lower prices and the impact of fires at two refineries.

The transportation equipment industry declined for a second month, following sizeable gains during the latter half of 2009. Motor vehicle manufacturing sales decreased 1.1%, in part reflecting temporary shutdowns. Motor vehicle parts sales decreased 3.4% compared with January, while aerospace production declined 0.4%.

Most strength seen in Western Canada and Ontario

Provincial results were evenly split in February, with most of the sales increases in Western Canada and Ontario.

The Prairie provinces were a source of strength in February, gaining 3.3%. Alberta led the provincial gains, up 4.4%, reflecting strong increases in computers and electronics, petroleum and coal, and chemical product sales.

Sales in Ontario advanced for a third consecutive month (+0.7%), despite a 1.5% decrease in the transportation equipment industry. Tobacco and beverage manufacturing (+14.6%) and chemical products (+7.1%) were behind most of the gains.

The Atlantic provinces reported a 9.5% decrease in sales for February. Sales in Newfoundland and Labrador fell a substantial 33.8%, followed by a 7.1% drop in New Brunswick and a 4.2% decline in Nova Scotia. Only Prince Edward Island managed a gain during the month, rising 1.3%.

Sales in Quebec declined 1.0% in February, reversing half of the gain reported in January. Decreases were widely based during the month, with key industries such as food, petroleum and coal, primary metals, and transportation all reporting declines.

Inventory levels remain stable

Inventory levels remained stable in February, edging up 0.2% compared with January. Inventories have stabilized over the past five months after decreasing steadily between February and September 2009.

Petroleum and coal product manufacturers reported the largest increase in inventories, up 10.2%. Most of the increase was due to large deliveries of raw materials to refineries during the month.

Primary metal inventories fell 4.5% in February. Lower prices compared with January were behind about half of the decline.

Inventory levels remain steady

The inventory-to-sales ratio held steady at 1.35 in February, unchanged from the previous month. The inventory-to-sales ratio has been falling since May 2009, and has returned to a level seen prior to the economic downturn.

 The inventory-to-sales ratio remains unchanged

Unfilled orders rise for third month

The backlog of unfilled orders rose for a third consecutive month, increasing 1.5% to $53.4 billion. Despite the recent gains, unfilled orders still remain well below levels reported prior to the economic downturn at the end of 2008.

Much of the advance in unfilled orders in February was centred in the machinery industry, where the backlog of orders increased by 3.5%.

Unfilled orders in the aerospace industry also moved ahead 0.4%; the second increase in the past eight months. The aerospace industry usually accounts for over 40% of unfilled orders.

Unfilled orders advance for a third month

New orders advanced 1.4% in February to $44.9 billion, led by gains in transportation equipment, chemical products, and computers and electronics. New orders have been on the rise since June 2009.

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

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 2101.

Data from the March Monthly Survey of Manufacturing will be released on May 14.

For more information, or to order data, contact the dissemination officer (toll-free 1-866-873-8789; 613-951-9497; fax: 613-951-3877; manufact@statcan.gc.ca). To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Elton Cryderman (613-951-4317, elton.cryderman@statcan.gc.ca), Manufacturing and Energy Division.

Table 1

Manufacturing: Principal statistics
  February 2009 January 2010r February 2010p January to February 2010 February 2009 to February 2010
  Seasonally adjusted
  $ millions % change1
Manufacturing sales (current dollars) 41,426 44,071 44,098 0.1 6.4
Manufacturing sales (2002 constant dollars) 38,431 40,754 40,874 0.3 6.4
Manufacturing sales excluding motor vehicles, parts and accessories (current dollars) 37,920 38,705 38,831 0.3 2.4
Inventories 65,965 59,586 59,704 0.2 -9.5
Unfilled orders 66,556 52,609 53,381 1.5 -19.8
Unfilled orders excluding motor vehicles, parts and accessories 65,472 52,075 52,859 1.5 -19.3
New orders 41,324 44,228 44,869 1.4 8.6
New orders excluding motor vehicles, parts and accessories 37,780 38,877 39,614 1.9 4.9
Inventory-to-sales ratio 1.59 1.35 1.35 ... ...
revised
preliminary
not applicable
Percent change calculated at thousands of dollars for current dollars, and millions of dollars for constant dollars.

Table 2

Manufacturing sales: Industry aggregates
Major group of industries February 2009 January 2010r February 2010p January to February 2010 February 2009 to February 2010
  Seasonally adjusted
  $ millions % change1
Food manufacturing 6,702 6,891 6,847 -0.6 2.2
Beverage and tobacco product 884 903 954 5.7 8.0
Textile mills 129 153 136 -11.3 5.2
Textile product mills 145 163 168 3.3 16.0
Clothing manufacturing 230 177 201 13.4 -12.3
Leather and allied product 32 34 33 -2.7 4.4
Wood product 1,428 1,492 1,547 3.7 8.3
Paper manufacturing 2,187 2,138 2,208 3.2 0.9
Printing and related support activities 824 771 754 -2.3 -8.5
Petroleum and coal product 4,562 5,754 5,531 -3.9 21.3
Chemical 3,497 3,760 3,921 4.3 12.1
Plastics and rubber products 1,581 1,695 1,770 4.4 11.9
Non-metallic mineral product 947 1,096 1,102 0.6 16.4
Primary metal 3,101 3,312 3,266 -1.4 5.3
Fabricated metal product 2,585 2,405 2,440 1.5 -5.6
Machinery 2,478 2,154 2,181 1.2 -12.0
Computer and electronic product 1,545 1,396 1,447 3.6 -6.3
Electrical equipment, appliance and component 825 780 745 -4.5 -9.7
Transportation equipment 5,948 7,232 7,099 -1.8 19.4
Motor vehicle 2,017 3,702 3,660 -1.1 81.4
Motor vehicle body and trailer 231 276 249 -10.0 7.6
Motor vehicle parts 1,489 1,664 1,607 -3.4 7.9
Aerospace product and parts 1,699 1,240 1,236 -0.4 -27.3
Railroad rolling stock 118 53 91 70.1 -22.9
Ship and boat building 90 123 117 -4.9 30.0
Furniture and related product 877 875 885 1.2 0.9
Miscellaneous manufacturing 921 890 862 -3.2 -6.4
Non-durable goods industries 20,772 22,440 22,524 0.4 8.4
Durable goods industries 20,654 21,630 21,574 -0.3 4.5
revised
preliminary
Percent change calculated at thousands of dollars.

Table 3

Manufacturing sales: Provinces and territories
  February 2009 January 2010r February 2010p January to February 2010 February 2009 to February 2010
  Seasonally adjusted
  $ millions % change1
Canada 41,426 44,071 44,098 0.1 6.4
Newfoundland and Labrador 387 354 234 -33.8 -39.5
Prince Edward Island 104 101 102 1.3 -1.5
Nova Scotia 755 776 744 -4.2 -1.5
New Brunswick 1,073 1,463 1,359 -7.1 26.6
Quebec 10,974 11,378 11,261 -1.0 2.6
Ontario 18,408 20,243 20,383 0.7 10.7
Manitoba 1,244 1,159 1,155 -0.3 -7.2
Saskatchewan 914 915 933 1.9 2.0
Alberta 4,862 4,834 5,048 4.4 3.8
British Columbia 2,699 2,843 2,873 1.1 6.5
Yukon 3 3 3 -4.3 -1.2
Northwest Territories and Nunavut 3 2 2 13.3 -11.3
revised
preliminary
Percent change calculated at thousands of dollars.