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Canada Factory Sales Unexpectedly Fall in December on Aerospace

Canadian factory sales unexpectedly fell in December, led by drops in aerospace products and motor vehicles.

Sales declined 0.9 percent to C$49.9 billion ($45.5 billion), Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast sales would be little changed, according to the median of 17 estimates. The agency also revised down the gain in November to 0.5 percent from an initially reported 1 percent.

The report suggests Canadian manufacturing, which has been a drag on the economy since the end of 2011, continues to struggle, even after rising 2.7 percent over the past 12 months.

Aerospace products fell 19.4 percent in December, while sales of motor vehicles were down 1.5 percent.

Sales fell in 15 of 21 categories tracked by Statistics Canada, accounting for about three-quarters of production.

Excluding price changes, a better indicator of the industry’s contribution to economic growth, factory sales were down 1.9 percent.

Unfilled orders increased 4.2 percent to C$74.9 billion and new orders gained 4.5 percent to C$52.9 billion in December.

Inventories fell 0.3 percent to C$69.3 billion, with the ratio of factory stockpiles to sales rising to 1.39 from 1.38.

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