Canadian manufacturing sales increased in 2013 for the fourth year in a row, Statistics Canada announcement Monday. Sales edged up 0.3 per cent and have almost fully recovered from the recession of 2008-2009. By contrast, constant dollar sales fell 0.9 per cent year over year, indicating a drop in volumes. Constant dollar sales in 2013 remained well below pre-recession levels.
In 2013, four industries accounted for over three-quarters of the overall increases: wood, food, aerospace product and parts, and chemical manufacturing.
The wood product industry had the largest gain in sales, increasing $3.6 billion from 2012 to $23.8 billion, up 17.8 per cent, in 2013. Since the recession of 2008-2009, improved economic conditions and increased exports to the US and China have contributed to higher sales for the Canadian wood products industry.
The industries posting the largest declines in 2013 included primary metals, petroleum and coal products, fabricated metal products, and automotive (the motor vehicle assembly and motor vehicle parts industries combined).
Manufacturing sales for the primary metal industry were down $2.4 billion to $43.4 billion in 2013, down 5.3 per cent, mostly as a result of lower prices. Sales for the petroleum and coal product industry recorded a 2.8 per cent decline to $82.7 billion, largely due to lower volumes. This was the result of extended and unplanned shutdowns at several refineries in 2013.