Factory Sales up 1% in March


CBJ — Canadian manufacturing sales rebounded in March, driven by gains in the motor vehicle sector and record sales in the food industry.

Figures released by Statistics Canada showed the 1.0% increase was in line with economists’ expectations, though the gain in volumes was less robust at 0.2%. Sales for February were revised downward to a drop of 0.6% from the initially-reported 0.2% decline.

Sales rose in 16 of 21 industries in March, accounting for 71% of the manufacturing sector. The transportation sector led the way, rising 2.1% as the vehicle and vehicle parts industries saw increases in sales volumes and prices.

Food industry sales rose for the second month in a row, climbing 2.6% to a record high of  $8.9 billion. Gains were widespread, with all nine food sub-sectors gaining, particularly meat and dairy.

Overall inventories rose 1.2% to a record high of  $72.7 billion, lifted by the transportation equipment and beverage and tobacco sectors. Still, the inventory-to-sales ratio, which measures how many months it would take to exhaust inventories at current sales levels, was unchanged at 1.35.


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