May 1, 2017 / 1:37 PM / 5 months ago

Canada manufacturing growth at six-year high in April

FILE PHOTO - An FCA assembly worker works on the production line of the 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivan at the FCA Windsor Assembly plant in Windsor, Ontario, May 6, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

OTTAWA - The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector picked up in April to its highest level in six years as new orders were boosted by a rebound in spending in the energy sector, data showed on Monday.

The Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, rose to a seasonally adjusted 55.9 last month from 55.5 in March. A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector.

It was the highest level since April 2011 and suggested that manufacturing was continuing to rebound from its soft patch over the past two years as the Canadian economy was hit by the oil price shock, the report said.

New orders rose to 57.6 from 56.4, with companies pointing to improved sales at home and increased demand in the energy sector. New export orders also picked up slightly to 52.6 from 51.0.

The increase in new work saw firms ramp up hiring and the measure of employment increased to 56.1 from 54.6. Canada’s job market has seen robust gains since the middle of last year.

However, input prices rose to their highest level in nearly three years at 63.9 from March’s 63.7, putting pressure on companies’ operating margins.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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