The RBC manufacturing purchasing manager’s index rose slightly in September for the third straight month to 55, reaching its highest reading since April.
The report says the pace of growth in both output and new orders quickened last month, and job creation was the strongest since March.
Statistics Canada will issue the official employment numbers for September on Friday, with economists expecting a pick-up of just under 20,000 jobs.
The manufacturing report warned, however, that supply-side pressures continued to build in September.
In the U.S., a key manufacturing index also showed surprising strength in the sector in the face of the global downturn.