Manufacturing sales rose 2.8% to $72.6 billion in October. Sales increased in 12 of 21 industries, led by the petroleum and coal (+12.7%), food (+2.9%), chemical (+4.9%), miscellaneous manufacturing (+13.3%), and paper product (+2.4%) industries. Meanwhile, motor vehicles (-3.2%) and machinery (-1.7%) posted the largest monthly declines. Compared with the same month last year, total sales were up 16.5%.

Sales in constant dollars were unchanged in October, indicating that the entire increase in current dollar sales was driven by higher prices as the Industrial Product Price Index rose 2.4% in October.

Sales in Alberta increase the most

In October, sales rose in seven provinces, led by Alberta, Quebec and Ontario. The increases were partly offset by lower sales in British Columbia. In Alberta, sales rose 7.3% to a record high of $9.5 billion in October, driven by petroleum and coal products as well as chemical products.

Inventory level expand at a slower pace

Total inventory levels increased at their lowest monthly pace, in dollar terms, since March 2021, edging up 0.3% to $122.2 billion in October, on higher prices as the volume of inventory levels dipped 0.8% in the same month. The gains were led by the primary metal (+2.8%), plastics and rubber (+2.6%) and wood product (+1.8%) industries and were partly offset by lower inventories in the aerospace product and parts (-2.9%), fabricated metal (-1.9%) and food (-1.1%) industries. Raw materials (+0.7%) as the largest component of the inventory contributed the most to the monthly gains, while finished products (+0.1%) and goods in process (+0.1%) changed little. Year over year, total inventory levels rose 22.3%.

The inventory-to-sales ratio fell from 1.73 in September to 1.68 in October. This ratio measures the time, in months, that would be required to exhaust inventories if sales were to remain at their current level.

Unfilled orders remain unchanged

Total value of the unfilled orders remained unchanged in October at $110.9 billion, as higher unfilled orders in the aerospace product and parts (+0.6%) and fabricated metal (+2.8%) industries were largely offset by lower unfilled orders in the computer and electronic product (-3.9%) and primary metal (-5.5%) industries.

The total value of new orders decreased 2.7% to $72.5 billion in October, mostly on lower new orders in the transportation equipment industry (-27.4%) and were partly offset by higher new orders in the petroleum and coal product industry (+12.7%).

Capacity utilization rate falls

The capacity utilization rate (not seasonally adjusted) for the manufacturing sector was down from 77.6% in September to 77.2% in October. The capacity utilization rate decreased in 13 of 21 industries in October, notably in the primary metal (-5.0 percentage points), computer and electronic product (-2.4 percentage points) and transportation equipment (-1.4 percentage points) industries. The decreases were partially offset by a higher capacity utilization rate in the petroleum and coal product (+3.3 percentage points) and chemical (+1.6 percentage points) industries.

Source: Statistics Canada