The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, February 2022

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.

Released: 2022-04-14

Manufacturing sales increased for the fifth consecutive month, up 4.2% to $67.7 billion in February on higher sales in 14 of 21 industries, led by the motor vehicle (+25.0%), food (+5.3%), petroleum and coal (+6.7%), and wood (+8.5%) industries. Meanwhile, sales of computer and electronic products decrease the most, down 7.9% to $1.2 billion in February. Total manufacturing sales rose 19.5% on a year-over-year basis in February.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Manufacturing sales
Manufacturing sales

Sales in constant dollars increased 2.2% in February, indicating that a higher volume of goods were sold as well as some inflationary pressure as the Industrial Product Price Index rose 3.1% in February.

Production ramps up in motor vehicle assembly plants

Following a 17.7% decline in January, sales of motor vehicles rose 25.0% to $3.7 billion in February, the highest sales since January 2021. Production ramped up in most auto manufacturers in February 2022 despite the ongoing global semiconductor shortage and the blockade of the Ambassador Bridge in Ontario. In February, some highway crossings between Canada and the United States were blocked by protesters against health measures, which in turn reduced trade of auto and auto parts between the two countries, especially at the Ambassador Bridge. However, higher transportation activities at other crossing points partly offset the decline in traffic at the Ambassador Bridge. The blockades contributed to a 5.0% decline in exports of motor vehicles and parts in February.

Following a 1.1% increase in January, sales of food products rose 5.3% to $11.6 billion in February, on higher sales of grain and oilseed milling and meat product manufacturing. The gain observed in the grain and oilseed milling industry in February followed three consecutive monthly declines caused by a shortage of canola seeds and transportation constraints due to poor weather conditions. In February, prices of canola or rapeseed oil were up 40.1% year over year. A reopening of the economy and in particular restaurants contributed to the higher sales of meat products. Total sales of food increased 20.7% year over year.

The petroleum and coal product industry marked a new record sales level in February, rising 6.7% to $8.5 billion, primarily on higher prices. The prices of refined petroleum products rose 9.1% in February, while volumes sold were up 1.6%.

Sales of wood products rose 8.5% to $4.5 billion in February, driven primarily by higher prices and volumes. Wood product sales have been trending upward since September 2021. Prices of lumber and other wood products increased 6.4% in February 2022, while exports of forestry products and building and packaging materials posted a 5.6% gain. Sales of wood in constant dollars increased 5.4% month over month in February.

Sales also increased in the motor vehicle parts (+5.8%) and machinery (+2.6%) industries, while production in the aerospace product and parts industry increased 6.6% in February.

Sales of computer and electronic products decreased 7.9% to $1.2 billion in February, the third consecutive monthly decline and the lowest sales since November 2020. The global shortage of semiconductor chips was partially responsible for the decline.

Other industries that posted lower sales in February were paper product (-2.9%) and ship and boat building (-15.9%).

Protests against health measures impact manufacturing

Based on respondent feedback, the protests against health measures which took place across the country had moderate impacts on manufacturing activities in February. At the national level, the protests impacted about 17.7% of manufacturing plants, mainly through disruptions in transportation (13.2%) and shortages of raw materials (8.3%). The impacts were more pronounced in the motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries.

Sales increase in all provinces

Manufacturing sales increased in all provinces in February, led by Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Ontario sales increased 5.1% to $29.1 billion in February, following a 1.3% decline in January. Higher sales of motor vehicle (+27.6%), food (+5.7%), and petroleum (+6.1%) were mainly responsible for the increase. The gains were partially offset by lower sales of computer and electronic products (-17.6%). Year over year, total sales in Ontario were up 17.8% in February.

In Alberta, sales rose 7.2% to $8.4 billion in February, the fifth consecutive monthly increase, on higher sales in 13 of 21 industries led by the petroleum and coal (+12.3%), food (+6.4%), and wood (+16.0%) product industries. Chemical sales marked the largest decrease, down 5.6% to $1.2 billion in February.

Sales in British Columbia increased 3.2% to $5.7 billion in February, primarily on higher sales of wood products (+8.4%). An increase in building and construction activities combined with supply chain disruptions surrounding wood manufactures resulted in higher prices and demand for softwood lumber. On a year-over-year basis, total sales in British Columbia rose 9.4% in February.

Toronto marks the largest increase in sales among selected census metropolitan areas

Manufacturing sales increased in 10 of 12 census metropolitan areas in February, led by Toronto and Edmonton. Meanwhile Québec posted the largest decline.

Following a 0.9% decrease in January, Toronto sales rose 3.7% to $11.3 billion in February, mainly on higher sales of food (+7.2%) and chemicals (+10.0%). The gains were partly offset by declines in sales of petroleum and motor vehicles. Year over year, total sales in Toronto were 18.3% higher in February compared with the same month a year earlier.

Sales in Edmonton increased 8.8% to $3.9 billion in February, the fifth consecutive monthly gain and the highest sales on record. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of the observed monthly gain was attributed to higher sales of petroleum (+11.7%).

In Québec, sales fell 3.7% to $1.9 billion in February on lower sales in the petroleum and coal industry and in miscellaneous manufacturing. The decline in sales of petroleum in February followed a record high in January.

Record-high inventory levels continue

Total inventories increased 1.0% to $106.7 billion in February, mainly on higher inventories in the petroleum and coal product (+9.1%), primary metal (+3.5%), and motor vehicle (+12.8%) industries. Higher prices of raw materials driven mainly by global supply chain disruptions have contributed to the growth in total inventories since January 2021. Year over year, total inventories rose 20.4% in February 2022.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Inventory levels rise
Inventory levels rise

Despite the inventories accumulation, they did not outpace sales and consequently, the inventory-to-sales ratio declined from 1.63 in January to 1.58 in February. 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 decreases
The inventory-to-sales ratio decreases

Unfilled orders rise

The total value of unfilled orders rose 0.9% to $100.9 billion in February, the highest level since April 2020, driven mainly by higher unfilled orders of aerospace product and parts (+2.1%) and plastic and rubber (+8.2%).

Chart 4  Chart 4: Unfilled orders rise
Unfilled orders rise

The total value of new orders increased for the fifth consecutive month, up 2.4% to $68.6 billion in February, led by the motor vehicle (+24.3%), food (+6.0%) and petroleum and coal (+5.7%) product industries. New orders of ship and boat building declined the most.

Capacity utilization rate increases on higher production

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the total manufacturing sector rose from 73.7% in January to 76.9% in February on higher production.

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

The capacity utilization rate increased in 14 of 21 industries in February and was more noticeable in the transportation equipment (+10.6 percentage points), chemical product (+4.5 percentage points) and wood product (+3.7 percentage points) industries. Higher production of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts contributed to the increase in capacity utilization of transportation equipment. Meanwhile, the capacity utilization rate fell in the non-metallic mineral (-2.3 percentage points), beverage and tobacco (-1.4 percentage points), and computer and electronic (-0.7 percentage points) industries.

Sustainable development goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the following 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 sustainable development goals. This release will be used to help measure the following goal:

  Note to readers

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

Seasonally adjusted data are data that have been modified to eliminate the effect of seasonal and calendar influences to allow for more meaningful comparisons of economic conditions from period to period. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Trend-cycle estimates are included in selected charts as a complement to the seasonally adjusted series. These data represent a smoothed version of the seasonally adjusted time series and provide information on longer-term movements, including changes in direction underlying the series. For information on trend-cycle data, see Trend-cycle estimates – Frequently asked questions.

Both seasonally adjusted data and trend-cycle estimates are subject to revision as additional observations become available. These revisions could be large and could even lead to a reversal of movement, especially for reference months near the end of the series or during periods of economic disruption.

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 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 working 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 previous three 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 April 25, 2022.

Next release

Data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for March will be released on May 16, 2022.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (

Date modified: