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Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, November 2018

Released: 2019-01-22

Manufacturing sales fell 1.4% to $57.3 billion in November, the second consecutive monthly decrease. The decline in November mainly reflected lower sales of petroleum and coal products. Excluding this industry, manufacturing sales rose 0.2%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Manufacturing sales decline in November
Manufacturing sales decline in November

Sales were down in 13 of 21 industries, representing 45.3% of total manufacturing sales. Sales of non-durable goods fell 3.4% to $27.2 billion, while sales of durable goods rose 0.5% to $30.1 billion.

In volume terms, manufacturing sales decreased 0.9%.

Petroleum and coal products industry posts the largest decrease

Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry fell 13.8% to $5.9 billion in November, following two consecutive monthly increases. Lower prices for petroleum and coal products (-6.8%), as well as maintenance and turnaround work at some refineries and lower production at other refineries, contributed to the decline in November. Constant dollar sales of petroleum and coal products declined 8.4%.

Chemical product sales fell 2.1% to $4.7 billion in November, following four consecutive monthly gains. There were widespread declines in most chemical manufacturing industries, particularly in the pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural chemical manufacturing industry. In constant dollars, sales volumes of chemical products fell 1.3% in November.

Partially offsetting these declines were increases in the transportation equipment and food industries. In the transportation equipment industry, sales rose 1.3% to $11.0 billion in November, following a 0.7% decline in October. The increase in November was mainly due to higher production at aerospace product and parts (+7.7%) and railroad rolling stock (+28.6%) industries.

Sales in the food industry rose for the second consecutive month, up 1.5% to $8.9 billion in November. The increase was largely attributable to higher sales in the grain and oilseed milling industry.

Sales down in six provinces

Sales fell in six provinces in November, with Alberta and Ontario posting the largest dollar declines.

Alberta manufacturing sales fell 6.8% to $6.3 billion in November, the second consecutive monthly decrease. The decline was mainly the result of lower sales in the petroleum and coal product (-14.0%) and chemical (-9.3%) industries.

Following two consecutive monthly increases, sales in Ontario fell 1.1% to $26.4 billion in November. The decline was largely attributable to lower sales in the petroleum and coal product (-11.5%), motor vehicle (-2.8%) and motor vehicle parts (-3.6%) industries.

Sales in Quebec rose 0.9% to $13.9 billion in November, following two consecutive monthly declines. The increase reflected gains in the aerospace product and parts (+6.1%) and food (+2.7%) industries. Sales were also up in the motor vehicle and fabricated metal product industries. Lower sales in the petroleum and coal product industry offset some of the gains.

Manufacturing sales in Manitoba rose for the second consecutive month, up 5.2% to $1.7 billion in November on higher sales of durable goods.

Inventory levels decrease

Inventory levels fell 0.6% to $84.4 billion in November. Inventories were down in 12 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal product (-10.2%), machinery (-2.9%) and food (-1.3%) industries. These decreases were partially offset by a 2.3% rise in the primary metal industry.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Inventory levels decrease
Inventory levels decrease

The inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.46 in October to 1.47 in November. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

Chart 3  Chart 3: The inventory-to-sales ratio increases
The inventory-to-sales ratio increases

Unfilled orders increase

Unfilled orders rose 0.3% in November to $96.6 billion, the second consecutive monthly increase. The gain reflected a 0.6% increase in the aerospace product and parts industry to $53.3 billion. Unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts industry represented 55.2% of total manufacturing unfilled orders.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Unfilled orders increase
Unfilled orders increase

Unfilled orders were also up in the computer and electronic product and fabricated metal product industries.

New orders fell 2.9% to $57.6 billion, following a 2.4% increase in October. The decline in November was mainly the result of lower new orders in the petroleum and coal product, transportation equipment and machinery industries.

Capacity utilization rate

The unadjusted capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector decreased from 80.5% in October to 78.8% in November.

Chart 5  Chart 5: The capacity utilization rate declines
The capacity utilization rate declines

Overall, the capacity utilization rate fell in 14 of 21 industries, with the petroleum and coal product and non-metallic mineral product industries posting the largest declines in November.

The capacity utilization rate for the petroleum and coal product industry declined for the fourth consecutive month, down 8.8 percentage points to 70.3% in November. Turnarounds and maintenance work at some refineries as well as lower production at other refineries were partly behind the lower capacity utilization rate.

The capacity utilization rate of the non-metallic mineral product industry decreased 8.4 percentage points to 67.6%, mainly due to the lower capacity utilization rate in the cement and concrete product industry.

The capacity utilization rate of the electrical equipment, appliance and components industry rose 5.6 percentage points to 82.7% in November. The increase was mostly attributable to gains in the household appliance and electrical equipment industries.





Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

The Monthly Survey of Manufacturing is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goal:

  Note to readers

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

For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions. For information on trend-cycle data, see Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

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 and shipbuilding industries, the value of production is used instead of the value of sales of goods manufactured. The value of production is calculated by adjusting monthly sales of goods manufactured by the monthly change in inventories of goods in process and finished products manufactured. The value of production is used because of the extended period of time that it normally takes to manufacture products in these industries.

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.

Manufacturers reporting sales, inventories and unfilled orders in US dollars

Some Canadian manufacturers report sales, inventories and unfilled orders in US dollars. These data are then converted to Canadian dollars as part of the data production cycle.

For sales, based on the assumption that they occur throughout the month, the average monthly exchange rate for the reference month established by the Bank of Canada is used for the conversion. The monthly average exchange rate is available in table 33-10-0163-01. Inventories and unfilled orders are reported at the end of the reference period. For most respondents, the noon spot exchange rate on the last working day of the month is used for the conversion of these variables.

However, some manufacturers choose to report their data as of a day other than the last day of the month. In these instances, the daily average exchange rate on the day selected by the respondent is used. Note that because of exchange rate fluctuations, the daily average exchange rate on the day selected by the respondent can differ from both the exchange rate on the last working day of the month and the monthly average exchange rate. Daily average exchange rate data are available in table 33-10-0036-01.

Revision policy

Each month, the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing releases preliminary data for the reference month and revised data for the three previous months. Revisions are made to reflect new information provided by respondents and updates to administrative data.

Real-time data tables

Real-time data tables 16-10-0118-01, 16-10-0119-01, 16-10-0014-01 and 16-10-0015-01 will be updated on February 4.

Next release

Data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for December 2018 will be released on February 14, 2019.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Bechir Oueriemmi (613-951-7938; bechir.oueriemmi@canada.ca), Mining, Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade Division.

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