Canada manufacturing PMI hits six-month low in September

Mon Oct 1, 2012 9:34am EDT
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By Claire Sibonney

TORONTO (Reuters) - The pace of growth in Canadian manufacturing fell for a third straight month in September, hitting a six-month low, in the latest sign Canada is suffering from the slowing economic momentum seen worldwide, according to data released on Monday.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was 52.37 last month, compared with 53.04 in August. This was the weakest reading since March.

The quarterly average PMI reading fell to 52.8 in the three months to September from 54.3 in the three months to June.

Still, a reading above 50 indicated improvement in the country's manufacturing conditions.

"All things considered, particularly within the context of the relatively weak global economic and manufacturing data, the fact that Canada's manufacturing sector continues to expand is noteworthy," Craig Wright, chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada, said in a statement.

Recent global surveys showed U.S. manufacturing suffered its weakest quarter in three years and conditions at European businesses worsened, while China's economy continued to lose steam.

On the upside for Canada, the RBC PMI showed an increase in new orders in September, partly reflecting greater client demand. But the rate of growth was also the weakest in six months.

Meanwhile, job creation eased to a five-month low and output growth was the second weakest in the survey's two-year history.   Continued...