By Paul Vieira
OTTAWA–Canadian manufacturing sales declined in April at a steeper-than-expected pace, as the effect of the global shortage of semiconductor chips continued to disrupt production at auto-sector factories.
Canadian factory sales fell 2.1% in April from March to a seasonally adjusted 57.10 billion Canadian dollars, or the equivalent to US$46.96 billion, Statistics Canada said Monday. Market expectations were for a 1.1% drop, according to economists at Desjardins Securities.
In volume terms, factory sales in April decreased 3.3%.
The prior month’s nominal data were revised, and now indicate shipments rose 4% as opposed to the early estimate of a 3.5% climb. On a one-year basis, manufacturing shipments remain sharply higher, up 57.1%.
The data agency said every major auto manufacturer had to halt or scale back productions because of a global shortage of semiconductor chips. In Canada, shipments of motor-vehicle sales fell by over one-third, or 36.5%, while auto-parts shipments dropped 19%.
Excluding the transportation-equipment component–which incorporates the auto sector as well as aerospace and boat building–manufacturing sales increased 1.5%, Statistics Canada said.
Meanwhile, total inventories advanced 0.8%, to C$89.19 billion; unfilled orders edged downward, 0.1%; and new orders decreased 2.5%.
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