Manufacturing sales in Canada declined 1.5 per cent to $51.1 billion in September, following a 0.6 per cent decrease in August, said Statistics Canada Wednesday. Lower sales in the motor vehicle assembly and the petroleum and coal product industries were responsible for the decline.
Sales were down in 13 of 21 industries, representing 78.6 per cent of Canadian manufacturing.
Constant dollar manufacturing sales were down 1.6 per cent, indicating that the volume of goods sold was lower in September.
In the motor vehicle assembly industry, sales fell 10.3 per cent to $5.0 billion in September following four months of gains, according to StatsCan. In Au- gust, sales had reached $5.6 billion, their highest level since March 2007. The decline in September mostly reflected lower numbers of vehicles produced.
Sales in the petroleum and coal product industry were down 7.1 per cent to $4.8 billion in September, the fourth consecutive decline. The decrease largely reflected partial shutdowns at a number of refineries during the month for maintenance work. Higher sales in the machinery and primary metal industries offset some of the declines.
Manufacturing inventories were down 0.4 per cent to $73.0 billion in September. Inventory levels decreased 4.2 per cent in the petroleum and coal product industry and 2.6 per cent in the primary metal industry. Inventories of machinery (-2.0 per cent) also declined. Inventory levels rose in the aerospace product and parts (+1.4 per cent) and motor vehicle assembly (+5.7 per cent) industries.
The inventory-to-sales ratio rose from 1.41 in August to 1.43 in September. The inventory-to-sales ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.