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--Total Sales -0.4% M/M; Excluding Autos And Parts +0.3% M/M
By Yali N'Diaye
OTTAWA (MNI) - Manufacturing sales disappointed in October, as they
contracted 0.4%, while analysts in a MNI survey had expected a 1.0%
increase, data from Statistics Canada showed Friday.
The disappointment was reinforced by the slight downward revision
to September's estimate, with sales growth now estimated at 0.4% instead
of the 0.5% initially reported.
In addition, it was not a price story as volumes contracted 1.5%,
more than offsetting gains of 0.6% in September and 0.9% in August.
Amid declining sales, inventories rose 1.6%, the largest gain since
That being said, forward-looking indicators were encouraging, with
unfilled orders up 2.4%, the largest gain since July 2015, and new
orders up 5.3%, the largest increase since April 2016.
Furthermore, weakness was concentrated in 8 of 21 industries,
including the heavy weight transportation equipment sector, which
recorded a 5.0% drop.
In particular, auto sales fell 6.7% on the month on a 7.6% drop in
volumes, with the agency citing decreased production after shutdowns of
some assembly plants during the month.
In addition, strikes likely affected the parts industry, which
posted a 1.6% decline.
Excluding autos and parts, sales edged up 0.3%, marking their third
consecutive increase. The last time this category posted a decrease was
in June (-1.3%), with sales flat in July.
Other transportation equipment plunged 37.2% on the month, with
volumes down 37.9%.
Excluding autos and the volatile other equipment category, sales
Another negative was a volume-led 1.4% decrease in machinery sales,
which did not bode well for investment activity.
On the other hand, petroleum and coal rose 2.2%, supported by a
1.1% gain in volumes.
Sales excluding petroleum and coal fell 0.7% on the month,
following a 0.5% decrease in September.
Overall, sales in non-durable goods industries edged up 0.1%.
However, volumes were down 0.4%. Durable goods sales decreased 0.9%,
with volumes down 2.4%.
Regionally, sales decreased in six provinces, led by Ontario
(-2.2%), the manufacturing heart of the country, along with Quebec
--MNI Ottawa Bureau; email: firstname.lastname@example.org