Driven by a rebounding auto sector, manufacturing shipments grew 2.1% in May to $44.6 billion, the strongest monthly gain since October 2000, Statistics Canada reports.
Manufacturing shipments edged up for the third consecutive month, led by a solid 5.5% increase in the motor vehicle industry. Rising industrial prices contributed to significantly higher shipments for the petroleum and coal products industry and the wood products industry. The computer and electronic products industry, which had been floundering because of a global slump in demand for communications-related products, remained quite volatile. The industry posted a 3.4% increase in May, following April’s 6.6% drop.
Twelve of 21 industries, representing 74% of total shipments, saw higher shipment values in May; seven provinces reported increases.
Despite the recent advances in the manufacturing sector, however, shipments continued to hold at 0.9% below 2000 levels. The state of the economy in the United States, Canada’s primary trading partner, remained uncertain.
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