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Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, January 2019

Released: 2019-03-15

Manufacturing sales increased 1.0% to $57.1 billion in January, following three consecutive monthly decreases.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Manufacturing sales increase
Manufacturing sales increase

Sales rose in 15 of 21 industries, representing 55.9% of total manufacturing sales. Higher sales in the food as well as the electrical equipment, appliance and component industries were the main contributors to the gains in January.

In volume terms, manufacturing sales rose 1.4%.

Food and electrical equipment, appliance and component industries post the largest increases

Food manufacturing sales rose 2.8% to $8.8 billion in January, following a 2.1% decline in December. The advance in January mainly reflected higher sales in the meat product; grain and oilseed; and other food manufacturing industries. After removing the effect of price changes, sales volume increased 2.4% in the food industry.

Sales in the electrical equipment, appliance and component industry rose 13.0% to $1.1 billion, following a 0.2% decline in December. The increases in this industry were widespread and reflected higher volumes. In constant dollars, sales in this industry were up 12.9%.

Increases were also seen in the wood product (+3.4%) and motor vehicle parts (+3.0%) industries. In constant dollars, volumes sold increased by 3.2% and 3.3% respectively in these industries in January.

Partially offsetting these increases were a decline in production in the aerospace product and parts industry (-12.4%) and lower sales in the paper manufacturing industry (-2.7%).

Sales rise in eight provinces

Sales were up in eight provinces in January, led by Ontario, New Brunswick and Alberta. Increases in these three provinces were largely responsible for the total national gain. Sales were down in Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

After two consecutive monthly declines, sales in Ontario rose 1.7% to $26.5 billion in January, mainly reflecting a 3.7% increase in the transportation equipment industry. The electrical equipment, appliance and component, as well as the furniture and related product industries, also contributed to the provincial gain.

The second largest monthly increase in dollar terms was in New Brunswick, where sales rose 15.4% to $1.3 billion in January. This was the result of higher sales of both non-durable (+15.6%) and durable (+14.6%) goods.

In Alberta, sales rose 2.5% to $6.2 billion, following two consecutive monthly declines. Sales were up in 12 of 21 industries, largely driven by a 13.8% increase in the food industry. Sales were also up in the wood product, fabricated metal product and electrical equipment, appliance and component industries.

In Quebec, sales fell 2.8% to $13.7 billion in January, following two consecutive monthly gains. The decline was mainly attributable to a 23.0% decrease in the transportation equipment industry. Sales were also down in the paper, as well as the petroleum and coal product industries. These decreases were partly offset by increases in the chemical; food; and the plastics and rubber products industries.

Inventory levels increase

Inventory levels rose for the second consecutive month, up 1.2% to $85.7 billion in January. Inventories were up in 16 of 21 industries, led by the transportation equipment (+1.8%) and machinery (+2.4%) industries.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Inventory levels rise
Inventory levels rise

The inventory-to-sales ratio was unchanged at 1.50 in January. 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 is unchanged
The inventory-to-sales ratio is unchanged

Unfilled orders decline

Unfilled orders declined 1.0% to $102.6 billion in January, following a revised 7.3% gain in December that reflected new information provided by respondents. The decrease in January was mainly attributable to lower unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts industry, as well as the other transportation equipment industry.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Unfilled orders decline
Unfilled orders decline

These declines were partially offset by an increase in unfilled orders in the computer and electronic product and the motor vehicle body and trailer industries.

New orders fell 11.9% to $56.0 billion in January, following a 10.9% increase in December. The decrease mostly reflected lower new orders in the aerospace product and parts industry. The decline in January was partially offset by higher new orders in the computer and electronic product and motor vehicle body and trailer industries.

Capacity utilization rate

The unadjusted capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector increased from 75.8% in December to 78.4% in January.

Chart 5  Chart 5: The capacity utilization rate increases
The capacity utilization rate increases

Overall, the capacity utilization rate rose in 13 of 21 industries, with the petroleum and coal product and transportation equipment industries posting the largest increases in January.

After three consecutive monthly declines, the capacity utilization rate for the petroleum and coal product industry rose from 69.0% in December to 82.8% in January. This gain reflected a ramp up of production by several refineries.

The capacity utilization rate for the transportation equipment industry increased 5.3 percentage points to 81.1% in January. A gradual rise of production at some motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts plants after holiday shutdowns was partly responsible for the increase in January.





Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nation's 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 March 25.

Next release

Data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for February will be released on April 16.

Contact information

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

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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