Inside Logistics

Wholesale sales rose in November, manufacturing sales down

Manufacturing sales dropped 0.6 percent in November, Statistics Canada reported


January 20, 2021
by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

Canadian wholesale sales grew for the seventh consecutive month in November to hit a record high, while manufacturing sales fell for the month.

Manufacturing sales dropped 0.6 percent to $53.7 billion in November, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes said factory sales took a breather in November, but he added that the decline seemed to have been narrowly driven by a few categories, noting that only five of 21 industries saw lower sales for the month.

“Declines were most prevalent in the auto and aerospace sectors,” Mendes wrote in a brief report.

“Lower prices for lumber and wood products also pulled down sales of wood products, which have been benefiting recently from strong demand for building.”

The data provided a snapshot of the economy for November, however the increased restrictions to slow the spread of the pandemic in some provinces since then are expected to have taken a deeper toll on the economy.

“Since November, restrictions have increased in provinces with the largest manufacturing centers, pointing to further subdued performances going forward,” TD Bank economist Omar Abdelrahman wrote.

“Although manufacturing was deemed essential by all provinces, the sector will face headwinds from the drop in domestic demand seen elsewhere in the economy.”

The transportation equipment industry fell 9.1 percent to $8.9 billion in November, while aerospace production fell 23.8 percent to $1.2 billion and motor vehicle sales slipped 5.7 percent to $4.3 billion.

Wood product manufacturing sales fell 4.1 percent to $3.3 billion in November on lower sales in the sawmills and wood preservation industry.

Overall manufacturing sales in constant dollars fell 0.6 percent.

Wholesale at all-time high

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada said Tuesday wholesale sales rose 0.7 percent to an all-time high of $67.4 billion as five of seven subsectors reported stronger sales.

The gains were led by the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector and the building material and supplies subsector.

The machinery, equipment and supplies group rose 2.8 percent to $14.3 billion, while building material and supplies rose 1.1 percent to $10.2 billion.

Wholesale trade in volume terms rose 0.9 percent in November.

The data for November came ahead of the Bank of Canada’s interest rate decision and monetary policy report on Wednesday.

The central bank is widely expected to keep its key interest on hold at 0.25 percent.