It took six long years, but Canada’s long-suffering manufacturing sector has finally undone the damage the Great Recession inflicted on its sales.
Riding its strongest monthly surge in three years, manufacturing sales hit a record $53.7-billion in July, eclipsing the previous high set in July, 2008, just before the financial crisis and recession took hold. The economic slump devastated Canada’s manufacturers, slashing sales by nearly 30 per cent.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, sales were up 2.5 per cent in July from June, far above economists’ consensus estimate of 1.1 per cent and the biggest month-to-month increase since July, 2011. Statistics Canada said that on a constant-dollar basis, sales were up 2.8 per cent in July from June – meaning the month’s strong performance was due to increased volumes of shipments, rather than higher prices.
Motor vehicle sales surged 11.6 per cent in the month, accounting for more than 40 per cent of July’s gain. Aerospace and primary metals also saw strong sales increases. Sales were up in 16 of 21 major sectors, representing 56 per cent of Canada’s manufacturing output, Statscan said. Of the five sectors reporting month-over-month sales declines, the biggest was in food manufacturing, down 1.4 per cent.