Manufacturing sales rose 2.9% in March, the government reported, to $51.0 billion. The gains came from increased production of aerospace products and parts and improved automotive sales.
The increase in March, the second improvement for manufacturing in the past six months, followed a 2.2% decrease in February. Sales were 0.3% higher than in March 2014.
Sales rose in 10 of 21 manufacturing industries, Statistics Canada reported, representing 60% of Canada’s manufacturing sector.
New orders rose 5.1% in March, attributed to higher unfilled orders in the transportation equipment industry.
Canadian manufacturing should see a solid 2015 primarily due to a weaker Loonie and the continuing recovery in the North American automotive market, forecast Bill Adams, senior international economist for PNC Financial Services Group.
“The Bank of Canada is making progress in rotating growth from energy to non-energy manufacturing, greatly aided by lower oil prices and a weaker Loonie,” Adams commented. “On balance, the decline in oil prices seems to be having limited effects on the Canadian labor market, since jobs are being added in manufacturing and services and compensating for jobs lost in energy.”