OTTAWA, (Reuters) - The pace of growth in the Canadian manufacturing sector was little changed in November as an uptick in new orders and employment was offset by slower production, data showed on Friday.
The Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, edged up to a seasonally adjusted 54.4 last month from 54.3 in October. A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector.
While the forward-looking measure of new orders rose to 53.9 from 53.2, it was still softer than the strong performance seen in the first half of the year as the broader economy accelerated.
Manufacturers said domestic demand and a rebound in the energy sector helped drive new orders in November. However, weaker spending from U.S. clients led to a further drop in export orders, with the index contracting to 49.4 from 49.8.
Companies said the decline in exports also contributed to slower output, which cooled to 53.7 from 54.2.
Employment rose to a three-month high at 55.8 from 55.4 as companies were forced to hire to deal with an increase in the backlog of work.
Higher materials costs saw input prices jump to the highest level since April 2014 at 65.3 from 62.6, but firms passed some of that on to their clients with factory gate prices rising to 55.6 from 54.6.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama