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Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, November 2022

Released: 2023-01-16

Manufacturing sales were flat at $72.3 billion in November, as higher sales of durable goods (+1.8%), led by motor vehicles (+12.7%) and fabricated metal products (+2.7%), were offset by lower sales of non-durable goods (-1.7%), led by the chemical (-4.4%) and petroleum and coal product (-2.1%) industries.

Sales in volume terms edged up 0.1% in November, while the Industrial Product Price Index declined 0.4%.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Manufacturing sales
Manufacturing sales

Motor vehicles, fabricated metals and primary metals drive sales growth in the durable goods industries

Following three consecutive monthly decreases, sales in the motor vehicle industry rose 12.7% to $3.9 billion in November, as production in several assembly plants in Canada ramped up, which in turn led to higher capacity utilization rates amid supply constraints.

Sales in the fabricated metal product industry rose for the third consecutive month to a new high, up 2.7% to $4.5 billion in November. The growth was broad-based, with higher sales in 7 of 9 fabricated metal industries, led by architectural and structural metals (+6.6%). While prices of fabricated metal products (-0.4%) were slightly lower than the previous month, exports of these products rose 1.0%. On a yearly basis, sales were 20.6% higher in November.

Sales in the primary metal industry rose 1.7% to $5.7 billion in November, mainly due to higher sales of alumina and aluminum production and processing (+12.7%) and non-ferrous metal (except aluminum) production and processing (+6.7%), mostly concentrated in Quebec. Prices for non-ferrous metal products increased 3.7%, while exports for other unwrought non-ferrous metal alloys rose 5.0%. Geopolitical uncertainties such as a potential ban on Russian metals and alterations in China's COVID-19 policies have impacted metal markets. Year over year, sales of primary metals were down 0.5% in November.

Chemicals and petroleum and coal products drive sales decline in the non-durable goods industries

Sales in the chemical industry fell 4.4% to $5.8 billion in November, after two consecutive monthly gains, while compared with the same month last year, sales rose 5.2%. Sales in the pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural chemical industry (-34.7%) contributed the most to the monthly decline, after a seasonal peak in October. Higher prices of fertilizers, pesticides and other chemical products, coupled with volatile natural gas prices could have a considerable impact on fertilizer buying activity near the end of 2022 when farmers are planning for 2023 plantings. The decline in the chemical industry was partially offset by higher sales of pharmaceuticals and medicines (+3.7%), following an 11.0% decrease in October. In real terms, sales in the chemical industry declined 2.2%.

Following a sharp increase in October, sales in the petroleum and coal product industry fell 2.1% to $10.3 billion in November, on lower volumes (-2.4%) and prices which fell for refined petroleum energy products (-2.7%). Exports of refined petroleum energy products (including liquid biofuels) declined 7.8%. Despite a monthly decline, sales of petroleum and coal products (+36.9%) grew substantially on a year-over-year basis in November.

Sales in Ontario increase the most, while Alberta posts the largest decline

Manufacturing sales increased in seven provinces in November, led by Ontario and Quebec, while Alberta and Manitoba recorded the largest declines.

In Ontario, sales increased 0.7% to $31.2 billion in November, the second consecutive monthly increase. The upward movement was primarily seen in the motor vehicle industry, which increased 14.0% to $3.7 billion in November, following three consecutive monthly declines. Conversely, petroleum and coal products (-3.6%) posted the largest declines in the province.

In Quebec, sales increased for the third consecutive month, up 0.4% to $18.2 billion in November, mainly on higher sales in the primary metal industry (+9.3%) as production ramped up in many non-ferrous metal plants. The increase was partly offset by lower sales in the transportation equipment industry (-7.9%), driven by lower production of aerospace products and parts (-6.7%).

Leading the provincial decline was Alberta, where sales decreased 3.0% to $9.2 billion in November, following two consecutive monthly rises. The decline was concentrated in the chemical industry (-13.5%), notably pesticide, fertilizer and other agricultural chemicals, as well as in the petroleum and coal product industry (-5.3%). Despite a monthly decline, total sales rose 20.3% year over year in November.

In Manitoba, sales fell 5.8% to $2.1 billion in November, following three consecutive monthly increases, led by the chemical industry (-24.2%). The decline was partly offset by higher sales in the plastic and rubber products industry (+14.7%). Despite a monthly decrease, total sales were up 18.1% on a year-over-year basis in November.

Windsor posts the largest sales gain, Edmonton reports the largest sales decrease

Sales increased in 9 of 15 selected census metropolitan areas in November, mainly driven by higher sales in Windsor and Toronto. Edmonton and Ottawa–Gatineau recorded the largest declines.

Following two consecutive monthly increases, sales in Windsor were up 22.0% to $1.7 billion in November, mostly on higher sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts industries.

Sales in Toronto increased 2.4% to $12.1 billion in November, primarily due to higher sales of motor vehicles (+33.0%) and was partly offset by lower sales of food products (-0.8%).

Sales in Edmonton fell 4.1% to $4.5 billion in November, led by the petroleum and coal product (-5.1%) and chemical (-7.1%) industries. Despite a decline month over month, total sales increased 32.2% year over year in November.

After strong growth in October, sales in Ottawa–Gatineau were down 9.9% to $836.4 million in November. The variation was linked to volatile sales in the miscellaneous industry, particularly the jewelry and silverware industry.

Inventory level edges down

Total inventory levels declined 0.5% to $121.6 billion in November, marking the first monthly decrease since December 2020, mainly from lower inventories in the machinery (-4.1%), transportation equipment (-0.8%) and chemical (-1.3%) industries. In contrast, the food (+1.0%) and computer and electronic product (+1.9%) industries posted the largest increases. Of the inventory components, goods in process (-1.6%) and raw materials (-0.9%) fell, while finished products increased 1.0%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Inventory levels decline
Inventory levels decline

The inventory-to-sales ratio declined from 1.69 in October to 1.68 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 decreases
The inventory-to-sales ratio decreases

Unfilled orders fall

The total value of unfilled orders fell for the second consecutive month, down 0.8% to $109.6 billion in November, with the decrease widespread across industries, led by the aerospace product and parts (-0.9%) and plastics and rubber product (-9.9%) industries. Higher unfilled orders of computer and electronics (+2.3%) and motor vehicles (+5.0%) partially offset the decline.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Unfilled orders remain down
Unfilled orders remain down

The value of new orders decreased for the second consecutive month, down 0.3% to $71.4 billion in November. Lower new orders in the aerospace product and parts (-26.5%), chemical (-6.3%) and fabricated metal product (-6.1%) industries played dominant roles in the monthly decline, while higher new orders in the motor vehicle (+20.8%), computer and electronics (+35.3%) and primary metal (+5.6%) industries partly offset the decline.

Capacity utilization rate increases

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the manufacturing sector increased from 77.9% in October to 78.6% in November.

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

Capacity utilization rates were up in the transportation equipment (+8.5 percentage points), primary metal (+3.0 percentage points) and fabricated metal product (+2.2 percentage points) industries. These increases were partly offset by lower capacity utilization rates in the food (-2.6 percentage points) and petroleum and coal product (-1.8 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 January 23.

Next release

Data from the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for December 2022 will be released on February 15, 2023.

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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