Canada manufacturing PMI ekes out slight growth, orders rise

Wed May 1, 2013 9:29am EDT
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* PMI rises to 50.1 in April from 49.3 in March

* New export orders strongest in 6 months, helped by U.S.

* Output prices rise faster than input costs

* Quebec reports gains in output, net export work, jobs

By Alastair Sharp

TORONTO, May 1 (Reuters) - Canada's manufacturing activity eked out the smallest of expansions in April after shrinking in March but the sector did see an encouraging rise in new orders from abroad, according to data released on Wednesday.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index was at 50.1 last month after adjusting for seasonal variation, up from 49.3 in March. A reading above 50 represents expansion, while a number below means contraction.

The manufacturing data, based on a survey of about 400 companies, offers one of the earliest indicators of the pace of economic growth.

"Canada's manufacturing sector kept its head above water in April, registering some improvement over the surprising series low recorded last month," RBC's chief economist, Craig Wright, said in a statement accompanying the data release.   Continued...