Canada factory sales climb in Sept on aerospace orders

Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:36am EST
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By Louise Egan

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian manufacturing sales grew 0.4 percent in September from August due mainly to a sharp rise in the volatile aerospace sector, but sales fell in the heavyweight auto industry and in most other industries, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The gain was above the 0.3 percent increase forecast. But analysts said the details of the report were weaker and confirmed slower economic growth in the third quarter.

"The slowing in activity is consistent with other indicators that showed the economy geared down in the quarter," said Dawn Desjardins, assistant chief economist at RBC Economics.

Sales rose in just eight of the 21 industries surveyed. Excluding the aerospace product and parts industry, manufacturing sales fell 0.7 percent.

In volume terms, overall sales were up 0.4 percent.

Statistics Canada sharply revised down its August factory sales figure to a 0.9 percent gain from 1.5 percent previously.

Desjardins said, however, even the modest gain in manufacturing, combined with expected similar increases in the energy and farming sectors, should lift September gross domestic product growth to 0.3 percent. The data will be released on November 30, along with figures for third-quarter GDP.

"While this will not be enough to save the economy from recording a weak reading in the third quarter of 2012 overall, it will provide a solid handoff for the final quarter of the year," she said in a note to clients.   Continued...