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Canada’s manufacturing sales hit record $53B in January: StatsCan

The outlook for manufacturing and construction jobs in B.C. is "bright," the Conference Board of Canada says.
manufacturing sales in Canada rose 2.3 per cent in January to more than $53-billion, marking the highest level on record, according to StatsCan. Credit/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Thanks in part to the low Canadian dollar manufacturing sales in Canada rose 2.3 per cent in January to more than $53-billion, marking the highest level on record, according to Statistics Canada.

The agency said the increase was largely due to higher sales of food, cars and automotive parts.

Sales rose in 16 of 21 industries, representing more than 80 per cent of the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, the Canadian dollar fell to 74.84 cents US Tuesday.

Looking at the regional break down across the country, eight provinces recorded higher sales in January, with Ontario and Quebec leading the way. Alberta, which has been hit hard by slumping oil prices, and Nova Scotia reported the lowest sales.

The new numbers from StatsCan showed motor vehicle sales in the country increased nearly 19 per cent in January, the highest level since November 2000.

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The agency said the gains were driven by two factors: a move in the industry towards higher-end models and a lower Canadian dollar.

It was the largest increase in the auto industry since March 2015, and according to StatsCan, Canadian manufacturers have been able to build these higher-end vehicles due to investments made in plants in Ontario.

General Motors and Honda both announced major investments at plants in Alliston and Ingersoll in 2015.