Canada’s manufacturing sales rose by 0.5pc to $688.5bn in 2019—marking a fourth straight year of growth, albeit at a slower pace than the previous two years. However, the country’s manufacturing sector posted declining sales for a fourth straight month in December, falling by 0.7pc to $56.4bn.
Manufacturing sales trended positively through the first half of 2019, supported by the petroleum, coal, and transportation equipment industries. In constant dollar terms, sales rose by 1.1pc to $637.4bn last year.
In December 2019, The motor vehicle assembly and aerospace product and parts industries saw the most significant declines, with auto sales falling by 6.8pc to $4.9bn in December, and aerospace seeing a 15.7pc decline to $1.9bn after surging 8.4pc in the prior month.
Sales declined by 3.7pc for motor vehicle parts and by 2.4pc for fabricated metal products in December. However, sales in the primary metals industry rose by 8.7pc to $4.1bn, largely driven by higher sales in non-ferrous metal—excluding aluminum—production and processing industries.
Ontario and Quebec, Canada’s two most populous provinces, saw the most significant manufacturing sales declines in December 2019. Sales in Quebec decreased by 2.2pc to $13.8bn in December, marking a second straight month of negative sales, largely due to a decline of 15.7pc in the transportation equipment industry. However, primary metal sales in the region rose 5.5pc, as did machinery sales by 8.1pc.
In Ontario, manufacturing sales decreased by 1.1pc in December after declining marginally by 0.8pc one month earlier. Transportation equipment sales declined by 6.7pc. The primary metal industry saw sales increase by 9.7pc.
Sales in British Columbia rose by 3.3pc to $4.4bn in December after two straight negative months led by the primary metals industry in the province.
The unadjusted capacity utilization rate for the manufacturing sector decreased to 76.3pc in December from 80pc one month earlier, due to both seasonal variations and the transportation and plastics and rubber products industries declining significantly. The transportation equipment industry’s capacity utilization rate declined for a second consecutive month in December, falling to 76.8pc.