February 1, 2017 / 2:35 PM / 2 years ago

Canada manufacturing grows at fastest pace in two years in February

FILE PHOTO - Workers piece together outerwear on the manufacturing floor of Canada Goose's facility in Toronto January 17, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill/File Photo

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian manufacturing sector grew at its fastest pace in over two years in January as new orders and production volumes picked up, pointing to a strong start to the year for an industry that has languished, data showed on Wednesday.

The Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, rose to a seasonally adjusted 53.5 last month from 51.8 in December, its highest level since December 2014. A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector.

The gauge of output rose to 54.0 from 51.6, with companies citing greater client demand. Indeed, new orders were also at a more than two-year high, increasing to 54.6 from 52.6.

A number of manufacturers said they were seeing rising sales to energy sector clients in particular, the report said, suggesting the hit to the economy from cheap oil prices was abating.

New orders for exports, a major plank of the Bank of Canada’s outlook, edged up to 51.1 from 50.9.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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