MRO Magazine

Manufacturing shipments maintained strong pace in February

Ottawa, ON -- According to Statistics Canada's Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for February 2005, volatility in the...


April 15, 2005
By MRO Magazine

Ottawa, ON — According to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Survey of Manufacturing for February 2005, volatility in the transportation equipment sector pulled down shipments 0.5% to $51.4 billion for the month. However, excluding the transportation equipment sector, manufacturers maintained the strong pace seen in January with shipments edging up 0.3%.

Unfilled orders also declined 0.5% in February, again mainly because of weakness in the transportation equipment sector. Excluding the transportation equipment sector, unfilled orders were up 1.8% for the month.

Industrial prices, which contributed to record high shipments for various industries in 2004, had abated somewhat by the close of the year. By February, prices for petroleum, wood products and primary metals were on the upswing again.

Production volumes, which have been quite healthy in recent months, have propped up shipments valued in constant dollars. At 1997 prices, shipments edged up 0.1% to $48.7 billion in February, following a 3.0% gain in January. February marked the third increase in four months in terms of constant dollar shipments.


Just over one-half of manufacturing industries reported modest shipment declines (12 of 21) in February, accounting for 66% of total shipments.

Big-ticket durable goods manufacturers posted a 0.6% decline in shipments to $29.7 billion. This followed a robust January when a surge of aerospace products, motor vehicles and machinery boosted shipments of durable goods by 4.3%. Meanwhile, shipments of non-durable goods edged back 0.3% to $21.7 billion in February.

According to the latest report on Canadian international merchandise trade, exports rebounded 1.4% in February with across-the-board increases. This increase, with a bit of a lag between the production of Canadian-made products and the time when the goods leave Canada, is in step with the strong shipment values of January.

By province, Canada was evenly split in terms of shipments in February. Ontario and New Brunswick were among the five provinces reporting decreases, which offset higher production in the remaining provinces and territories, led by Alberta and Nova Scotia.