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Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, August 2022

Released: 2022-10-14

Manufacturing sales fell 2.0% to $70.4 billion in August, the fourth consecutive monthly decline. There were lower sales in 17 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal product (-3.9%), chemical (-4.5%), primary metal (-3.2%), paper (-5.7%) and wood product (-4.3%) industries. Meanwhile, sales of beverage and tobacco products (+5.5%) and food (+0.6%) increased the most.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Manufacturing sales
Manufacturing sales

Sales in constant dollars decreased 1.7% in August, indicating lower volume of goods sold. Month over month, the Industrial Product Price Index declined 1.2% in August.

Sales of petroleum and coal product industry declined the most

Petroleum and coal sales decreased 3.9% to $9.9 billion in August, the third consecutive monthly decline, on lower prices and volumes as sales in constant dollars were down 1.9%. Prices for refined petroleum energy products decreased 7.0%, while exports of refined petroleum energy products were down 10.3%. The declines were associated with a lower demand for energy products due to the ongoing macroeconomic concerns, as well as a higher supply of crude oil as the United States has been releasing barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Despite the monthly decrease, sales in petroleum and coal products were 51.2% higher compared with August 2021.

Following a 2.5% decrease in July 2022, sales in the chemical manufacturing industry decreased by 4.5% to $5.6 billion in August, on lower sales in the basic chemical (-5.3%) and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing (-5.5%) industries. Prices of chemicals and chemical products fell 3.7% in August. Exports of basic chemicals and chemical products decreased 2.5%. Shutdowns and turnarounds at some major manufacturers in petroleum chemicals also contributed to lower sales in August. Chemical product sales in constant dollars were down 3.5%. Despite the month-over-month decline, sales in the chemical product industry increased 5.7% year over year.

Sales in the primary metal industry declined 3.2% to $5.4 billion in August, the fourth consecutive monthly decline and the lowest level since September 2021. The decline was mainly attributable to declines in the non-ferrous metal (except aluminum) production and processing industry (-2.8%), despite this industry experiencing higher prices (+1.6%) in August. Some major primary metal manufacturers were still recovering from unplanned interruptions that occurred in July. The easing of restrictions in China and increased domestic output have contributed to the lower prices of primary ferrous metal products in August. Sales in constant dollars were down 2.6%.

Sales also decreased in the paper (-5.7%) and wood product (-4.3%) industries in August.

Sales of beverages and tobacco increased 5.5% to $1.5 billion in August, the highest on record, on higher prices and volumes, as sales in real terms were up 2.2% in August.

Following a 3.5% increase in July, sales of food rose a further 0.6% to a record high $12.0 billion in August, on higher prices as sales in constant dollars edged down (-0.2%).

Quebec posts the largest decline

Manufacturing sales declined in seven provinces in August, led by Quebec and followed by Alberta and New Brunswick. Meanwhile, sales in Manitoba increased the most.

In Quebec, manufacturing sales were down 5.5% to $16.7 billion in August, the second consecutive monthly decrease. Lower sales of primary metals (-7.8%), fabricated metal products (-12.1%) and wood products (-10.1%) were the main contributors to the decline. On a year-over-year basis, total sales were up 6.7% in August.

In Alberta, sales declined 3.1% to $8.8 billion in August, mainly on lower sales of the petroleum and coal products (-6.5%) and chemical (-5.9%) industries. The decrease was partly offset by higher sales in the food industry (+5.7%). Despite the decline, total sales were up 23.3% in August compared with the same month a year earlier.

Sales in New Brunswick decreased 5.7% to $2.3 billion in August, mainly on lower sales of non-durable goods (-5.9%). On a year-over-year basis, total sales in New Brunswick rose 33.3% in August.

Following a 6.2% decline in July, sales in Manitoba increased 1.8% to $2.1 billion in August, mostly attributable to higher sales in the chemical (+14.5%) and machinery (+5.2%) industries.

Sales in Windsor decrease the most

Manufacturing sales fell in 7 of 15 selected census metropolitan areas in August, led by Windsor and Edmonton, while sales in Toronto increased the most.

After a 36.6% increase in July, sales in Windsor fell 19.2% to $1.3 billion in August. The decline was mainly attributable to lower sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts industries as the ongoing shortage of microchips continued to impact auto makers.

Sales in Edmonton decreased 4.2% to $4.6 billion in August, almost entirely on lower sales of petroleum and coal products (-6.9%). Year over year, sales in Edmonton increased 46.2%.

Following a 1.2% decline in July, sales in Toronto increased 1.6% to $12.0 billion in August, mainly on higher sales of motor vehicles (+7.4%) and beverage and tobacco (+36.9%) industries. On a year-over-year basis, sales in Toronto increased 14.1%.

Record-high inventory levels continue

Total inventory levels increased 1.3% to $119.9 billion in August, on higher inventories in 16 of 21 industries, led by the aerospace product and parts (+5.0%), computer and electronic product (+7.0%) and beverage and tobacco (+6.8%) industries. The gains were partly offset by a 2.5% decline in inventories of petroleum and coal and a 3.5% decrease in paper products. Total inventories (+37.5%) and raw materials (+51.5%) rose compared with the level in February 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic—mainly on higher prices of materials as the increases were 9.6% for total inventories and 13.7% for raw materials in real terms during the same period.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Inventory levels rise
Inventory levels rise

The inventory-to-sales ratio increased from 1.65 in July to 1.70 in August. 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 rise

After a 0.2% decline in July, the total value of unfilled orders rose 1.5% to $107.5 billion in August on higher unfilled orders in the transportation equipment industry (+2.8%). The increase was partially offset by declines of unfilled orders in the fabricated metal industry (-3.7%). Total unfilled orders were up 20.8% on a year-over-year basis in August.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Unfilled orders increase
Unfilled orders increase

The total value of new orders increased 0.6% to $72.0 billion in August, largely on higher new orders in the transportation equipment industry (+9.8%). The gain was partially offset by lower new orders in the petroleum and coal industry (-3.9%).

Capacity utilization rate edges up

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the manufacturing sector edged up (+0.4 percentage points), from 76.6% in July to 77.0% in August.

Chart 5  Chart 5: The capacity utilization rate edges up
The capacity utilization rate edges up

The capacity utilization rate for the plastic and rubber industry rose 6.3 percentage points to 72.4% in August, mostly attributable to higher production of plastic products.

The capacity utilization rate for the transportation equipment industry rose 1.5 percentage points to 72.2% in August. A gradual rise of production at some motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts plants after some shutdowns was mostly responsible for the increase.

The increases were partially offset by a lower capacity utilization rate in the petroleum and coal product (-2.4 percentage points) and primary metal (-2.4 percentage points) industries.

Annual Survey of Manufacturing advance estimate for 2021

Some 2021 advanced estimates from the Annual Survey of Manufacturing Industries are now available and indicate that manufacturing activity increased 15.9% from 2020. Total revenue is estimated at $785.2 billion, revenue from goods manufactured is estimated at $734.3 billion and total expenses are estimated at $697.5 billion.

Note that these advance preliminary estimates will be revised with the upcoming official release of the Annual Survey of Manufacturing Industries. For information on why the Annual Survey of Manufacturing Industries estimates may differ from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, please consult the webpage Differences between the Annual Survey of Manufacturing Industries and the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing.

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 October 21, 2022.

Next release

Data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for September will be released on November 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 (

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