Sales by manufacturing companies in Canada rose by 10.7pc to $40.2bn in May compared to a 27.9pc decline in April, according to Statistics Canada. 

 

A total of 18 out of 21 industries witnessed rising sales as operations resumed post lockdown in May this year. Manufacturing sales volumes also increased by 8.8pc in May compared to the previous month. 

 

That said, total manufacturing sales declined by 28.4pc in May compared to the pre-pandemic levels in February 2020. Moreover, close to 80.9pc of the manufacturing establishments recorded a drop in their normal activity levels due to COVID-19. The Statistics Canada report pointed out that 24.3pc of these establishments have a recovery plan in place. 

 

In dollar terms, compared to pre-pandemic levels, sales of transportation equipment declined by $5bn, the steepest of all manufacturing industries due to the impact of COVID-19, followed by a $619mn decline in the sales of fabricated metal products. Machinery and primary metal industries sales fell by $562mn and $525mn, respectively. 

 

Sales pick up in May

In May, transportation equipment sales increased by 81.7pc to $2.6bn compared to a 74.9pc drop in April. Motor vehicle manufacturing sales increased by $728mn while manufacturing sales of motor vehicle parts saw a $325mn rise. Yet, the sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts were down by 79.1pc in May 2020 compared to the same month last year. 

 

The construction industry, which opened back up in mid-May helped to increase the sales of fabricated metal products, which ticked up by 14.8pc to $2bn. Meanwhile, machinery sales fell by 6.9pc to $1.9bn as some consumers postponed their orders due to the pandemic. 

 

Inventory levels decline

Inventory levels of 13 out of 21 industries were affected in May with 1.5pc decline to $64bn. Inventory levels of transportation equipment dropped by 3.4pc, fabricated metal products declined by 4.9pc. This was followed by machinery and primary metal industry with inventory levels falling by 3.2pc and 3.1pc, respectively, in May. 

 

Unfilled orders in the manufacturing sector in May fell by 2.4pc to $71bn while new orders rose by 9.4pc to $28bn during the same month compared to April 2020. 

 

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