July 2, 2014 / 1:33 PM / 3 years ago

Canada manufacturing growth at six-month high in June

TORONTO, July 2 (Reuters) - The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector picked up in June to its highest level of the year so far, helped by an acceleration in output and new orders, data showed on Wednesday.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, rose to a seasonally adjusted 53.5 in June from 52.2 in May. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the sector.

It was the highest reading since December and marked a rebound from May’s four-month low.

“We expect that those conditions will further improve going forward, supported by a strengthening global economy, increases in external demand for domestic goods and a depreciating Canadian dollar,” Craig Wright, chief economist at RBC, said in a statement.

The gauge of manufacturers’ output rose to 53.8 from 51.8, with companies saying improving economic conditions and rising client spending had boosted production.

The employment measure edged up to 52.6 from 52.4 ahead of next week’s larger unemployment report for June.

Although input prices continued to point to a sharp rise in the average cost burdens for companies, the rate of price increases eased to the slowest of the year.

Still, a number of firms pointed to exchange rate depreciation against the U.S. dollar as pushing up prices for imported raw materials, as well as greater oil-related costs.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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