Issue 18-34: Manufacturing Sales

February 16, 2018

British Columbia manufacturing sales slipped 0.7% in December as sales by manufacturers of non-durables were down 2.4%. Producers of food (-3.4%) and paper (-3.2%) products saw sales drop after posting strong growth in the previous month. Together, these industries account for 61.0% of the total sales by non-durables manufacturers, and about a quarter of the total value of manufacturing sales.

Among durables manufacturers, sales rose 0.7%, boosted by a 1.6% increase in wood manufacturing. Wood manufacturers accounted for 23% of the total value of manufacturing sales in December.

Canadian sales of manufactured goods dropped 0.3% in December. Declines were mainly posted by the leather and allied product (-6.5%), petroleum & coal products (-4.1%), textile mills (-4.1%) and food (-2.6%) industries.

Sales were lower in most provinces except Manitoba (+3.2%), Alberta (+1.2%) and Ontario (+1.2%). For Alberta, this was the fifth consecutive monthly increase, led by the primary metal (+14.4%), machinery (+6.4%) and petroleum & coal products (+3.9%).

Despite the slowdown in December, manufacturing sales in British Columbia were up 8.1% in 2017, with most manufacturing industries showing strong growth. Manufacturers of paper products saw sales bounce back (+9.5%) after posting a 7.5% decline in 2016, while sales by producers of wood (+9.2%) and food (+3.9%) products continued to climb. Nationally, sales were up in all provinces, led by Newfoundland and Labrador (+25.3%). New Brunswick (+15.8%), Alberta (+13.7%) and Saskatchewan (+12.6%) all posted double-digit growth following a weak performance in the previous year. Nationally, sales were up 6.0% in 2017.