Canadian factory sales climb 2.5% in March

By Paul Viera

OTTAWA – Canadian manufacturing shipments rose in March, ahead of market consensus, thanks to broad-based gains led by higher prices for energy products and primary metals.

Canadian factory sales rose 2.5% in February from the previous month to reach 70.2 billion seasonally adjusted Canadian dollars, or the equivalent of 54.38 billion US dollars, Statistics Canada announced Monday. Market expectations were for a 2% gain, according to Bank of Nova Scotia economists.

Data for the previous month has also been revised upwards and now indicates that factory sales rose 5.1% in February compared to the previous estimate of a 4.2% gain.

On a price- or volume-adjusted basis, Canadian manufacturing sales in March were flat compared to the previous month.

On a year-over-year basis, nominal factory shipments increased 18.7%, while price-adjusted sales edged up 1.8%.

“Clearly prices played a significant role and therefore the implications for monthly real gross domestic product may be lower than what the numbers show,” said Karyne Charbonneau, economist at Capital Markets. CIBC.

On a quarterly basis, sales rose 6.5% on a non-annualized basis in the first quarter, the seventh consecutive quarterly gain and the largest increase since the third quarter of 2020.

Statistics Canada said 16 of the 21 sectors tracked reported an increase in sales in March. The capacity utilization rate, on an unadjusted basis, for the Canadian factory sector reached 81.7% in March, the highest rate in nearly three years.

Write to Paul Vieira at [email protected]

Sallie R. Loera