Canada February manufacturing grows at fastest pace in six months

01 March 2013 15:55  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Canada’s manufacturing output rose modestly in February, but still hit its fastest pace in six months, partly driven by greater demand from the US, Japan and China, according to survey data released on Friday.

Toronto-based RBC Royal Bank said that its monthly purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for Canada's manufacturing sector rose to 51.7 in February, from 50.5 in January. Readings of above 50.0 indicate an expansion in manufacturing.

"Canadian manufacturing […] strengthened output and employment growth," said RBC chief economist Craig Wright in commenting on the latest PMI data.

"Greater demand from the US, Japan and China played a key role in boosting new export work which helped nudge output growth to the fastest pace of growth in the past six months,” Wright said.

“While it would be premature to suggest that the global economy is treading on a much brighter path, these modest improvements hint that better days may lie ahead," he added.

RBC conducts the monthly PMI survey in cooperation with market research firm Markit.

In related news, Canada’s federal statistics agency reported this week that Canada’s industrial product prices were unchanged in January, from December, and down 0.2% year on year from January 2012.

In the chemical industry, prices were down 1.4% in January from December, and down 1.7% year on year from January 2012, Statistics Canada said.

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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