December 1, 2015 / 2:41 PM / 3 years ago

Canada manufacturing growth shrinks for fourth month in Nov

A construction worker works on building a new house in Calgary, Alberta, April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Todd Korol

TORONTO, Dec 1 (Reuters) - - The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector contracted for the fourth month in a row in November as the industry continued to be hurt by weak commodity prices, data showed on Tuesday.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, edged up to a seasonally adjusted 48.6 last month from 48.0 in October. But the index remained below the 50 mark that signals growth.

Despite the headwind from the drop in commodity prices, U.S. economic growth should benefit Canadian exports and help improve business conditions in the manufacturing sector in the coming months, said Craig Wright, chief economist at RBC.

Both new orders and employment contracted further, falling to 48.1 and 47.9, respectively. A pick up in new export orders was more encouraging, with the measure rising to 50.9. A number of businesses said the weaker Canadian dollar had helped export sales.

Canada was in a modest recession in the first half of the year as the drop in oil prices weighed on business investment. The manufacturing index has been in contraction territory in eight out of 11 months so far this year.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama;; +1 613 235 6745; Reuters Messaging:; Twitter: @LeahSchnurr

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