Canada Factory Sales at 15-Month High in September

Canadian factory sales rose to the highest in more than a year in September as automakers introduced new models and grain mills resumed production after maintenance shutdowns.

Sales rose 0.6 percent to C$49.9 billion ($47.7 billion), the highest since June 2012, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists forecast a 0.5 percent increase, according to the median in a Bloomberg survey with 15 responses.

While production is 1 percent above year-earlier levels, it remains 1.3 percent below the post-recession peak set at the end of 2011, with demand hobbled by an inconsistent global recovery. The Bank of Canada has said that business investment and exports remain weak in an economy led by consumer spending, as companies wait for clearer signs of expansion abroad.

“We may see a moderation in sales in the last quarter of the year,” said Krishen Rangasamy, senior economist at National Bank Financial in Montreal. “New orders fell significantly, not just in September but three declines in a row.” New factory orders declined 2.6 percent to C$48.3 billion in September.

The Canadian dollar depreciated 0.1 percent to C$1.0472 per U.S. dollar at 9:31 a.m. in Toronto. Yesterday it touched C$1.0526, the lowest level since Sept 4. One dollar buys 95.49 U.S. cents.

Motor vehicle assembly rose 5.4 percent to C$4.70 billion in September, and auto parts sales increased 2.5 percent to C$1.96 billion. Food manufacturing rose 2.6 percent to C$7.46 billion, the fastest since December, led by grain and oilseed mills that re-opened after shutdowns.

Sales Volumes

Sales rose in 11 of 21 categories tracked by Statistics Canada, accounting for 55 percent of production.

Excluding price changes, a better indicator of the industry’s contribution to economic growth, factory sales rose 1 percent in September.

Inventories fell 0.9 percent to C$68.2 billion, with the ratio of factory stockpiles to sales falling to 1.37 from 1.39.

Unfilled orders fell 2.2 percent to C$71.9 billion, as a stronger U.S. dollar pared the value of aerospace orders recorded in local currency, Statistics Canada said.

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