Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, May 2019
Manufacturing sales rose 1.6% to $58.9 billion in May, following a 0.4% decline in April. The increase was mainly due to higher sales in the transportation equipment industry.
Sales were up in 12 of 21 industries, representing 66.2% of total Canadian manufacturing.
Constant dollar sales rose 1.7%, indicating that a higher volume of products was sold in May.
Transportation equipment industry posts the largest increase
Sales in the transportation equipment industry rose 8.1% to $11.2 billion in May, following a 5.8% decline in April. This increase was due to higher sales in the motor vehicle (+13.3%) and motor vehicle parts (+7.3%) industries. The increase in motor vehicle sales was the result of more units produced at all assembly plants, and in particular, those that had shutdowns in the previous month. In constant dollars, sales volumes rose 13.1% in the motor vehicle industry in May. The gain in motor vehicle parts stemmed from many plants returning to full production after temporary shutdowns in April.
Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry were up for the fifth straight month, rising 2.0% to $6.7 billion in May. This stemmed from higher sales from several refineries and asphalt product manufacturers. In volume terms, sales rose 2.6% in the petroleum and coal industry in May.
Sales also increased in the fabricated metal product (+3.1%), chemical (+2.1%) and machinery (+1.7%) industries.
These increases were partially offset by declines in the food (-1.7%), primary metal (-2.1%) and printing and related support activities (-5.6%) industries.
Sales up in six provinces
Sales were up in six provinces in May, although the increase was concentrated in Ontario.
Following a 1.8% decline in April, sales in Ontario rose 2.7% to $26.9 billion in May. This mainly reflected higher sales in the motor vehicle (+13.7%) and motor vehicle parts (+7.1%) industries. The food industry declined 4.2% following gains of 2.8% in March and 5.3% in April.
Manufacturing sales in Alberta increased for the fifth consecutive month, rising 2.2% to $7.0 billion in May. The gain was mostly attributable to higher sales in the petroleum and coal product (+3.8%) and chemical (+7.0%) industries.
Sales were down in British Columbia (-1.8%) and Saskatchewan (-5.1%), mainly due to lower sales in the non-durable goods industries.
Inventory levels rise
Inventory levels rose 0.8% to $88.8 billion in May. Inventories were up in 13 of 21 industries, with the largest increases in the petroleum and coal product (+7.2%), computer and electronic product (+4.5%) and chemical (+1.5%) industries. These increases were partially offset by declines in the machinery (-1.2%) and food (-0.5%) industries.
The inventory-to-sales ratio decreased from 1.52 in April to 1.51 in May. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to continue at their current rate.
Unfilled orders increase
Unfilled orders were up 0.5% to $100.4 billion in May, the third increase in four months. The overall increase in May was mainly due to higher unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts industry, which were partly offset by lower unfilled orders in the machinery and fabricated metal product industries.
New orders rose 2.9% to $59.5 billion in May, mainly as a result of higher orders in the motor vehicle and aerospace product and parts industries.
Capacity utilization rate increases
The unadjusted capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector increased from 79.6% in April to 82.0% in May.
Overall, the capacity utilization rate rose in 18 of 21 industries, with the non-metallic mineral product and transportation equipment industries posting the largest increases in May.
The capacity utilization rate for the non-metallic mineral product industry increased for the third consecutive month, rising 8.9 percentage points to 76.6% in May. The increase was attributable to higher production in most non-metallic mineral product industries, particularly in the cement and concrete product manufacturing, as well as the glass and glass product manufacturing industries.
The capacity utilization rate for the transportation equipment industry rose 6.6 percentage points to 85.8% in May. The increase was mostly attributable to higher production at motor vehicle assembly plants.
The capacity utilization rate of the petroleum and coal product industry fell 1.2 percentage points to 85.6% in May. The decrease was primarily attributable to lower production due to maintenance and turnarounds at some refineries.
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.
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 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 daily average 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.
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.
Once a year, a revision project is undertaken to revise multiple years of 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 July 29.
Data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for June will be released on August 20.
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; firstname.lastname@example.org) or Michael Schimpf (613-863-4480; email@example.com), Mining, Manufacturing and Wholesale Trade Division.
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