Manufacturing Cools in June

CBJ — The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector cooled in June to a four-month low as job creation slowed and companies saw fewer orders for new work.

Figures released by the Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, declined to a seasonally adjusted 54.7 last month from 55.1 in May. A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector.

The gauge of new orders slipped to 55.1 from 55.7, its lowest level since January as firms saw less demand from markets at home.

But export orders edged up to 53.4 from 53.3, the strongest level since November 2014 on greater demand from clients in the United States.

While the figures suggest the recovery in the manufacturing sector has started to lose momentum, firms are still relatively upbeat about the outlook for the next 12 months.

The Canadian economy is showing strong growth two years after it was hit by the drop in oil prices and the central bank has begun setting the stage for interest rate hikes that could come as soon as July 12.

Employment among manufacturers declined to 54.7 from 55.4. Input prices fell to 60.3 from 63.2, though companies reported increased prices for raw materials such as steel.