Canadian manufacturing sales rose 1.7 per cent to $72.3 billion in April, helped by gains in the petroleum and coal product, motor vehicle, and primary metal sectors, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
The gain came as overall sales in constant dollars rose 0.9 per cent in April, indicating that both prices and volume sold contributed to increase for the month.
Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics, said the increase means manufacturing sales volumes have now risen above their pre-pandemic peak.
"While the recovery in the motor vehicle sector appears to have stalled in May, the strong rise in unfilled orders in April and the improvement in the S&P Manufacturing PMI in May nevertheless bode well for further gains in output," Brown wrote in a report.
New orders rose 3.1 per cent to $75.2 billion in April fuelled by gains for aerospace product and parts, fabricated metals and motor vehicles, while the total value of unfilled orders gained 2.9 per cent at $103.9 million, the highest level since March 2020.
"Further ahead, while rapidly rising interest rates may hit demand to some extent, the elevated level of commodity prices suggests that Canada's manufacturing sector should hold up better than elsewhere," Brown wrote.
Statistics Canada said Tuesday higher prices helped sales of petroleum and coal products gain 3.7 per cent to reach a new record high at $10.1 billion in April.
Meanwhile, sales of motor vehicles rose 8.2 per cent to $4.5 billion in April, while primary metal sales gained 4.1 per cent at $6.2 billion. Aerospace products and parts added 11.2 per cent at $1.6 billion.
Wood product sales fell 6.0 per cent to $4.5 billion as prices moved lower. Wood product sales in constant dollars lost 1.3 per cent.
Sales of paper products dropped 7.9 per cent to $2.5 billion in April.