TORONTO, Feb. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index™ (RBC PMI™) pointed to only marginal increases in both output and new orders in January; however, this marks the first rise in production levels since last October. A monthly survey, conducted in association with Markit, a leading global financial information services company, and the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC), the RBC PMI offers a comprehensive and early indicator of trends in the Canadian manufacturing sector.
The headline RBC PMI - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of the health of the manufacturing sector - signalled only a marginal improvement in Canadian manufacturing business conditions in January. At 50.5, the RBC PMI was only slightly higher than the survey-low of 50.4 recorded in both November and December.
The RBC PMI found that output increased for the first time in three months in January, albeit only slightly, but new order growth slowed since December and was only marginal. The rate of job creation also weakened, easing to a 12-month low, while the rate of input price inflation strengthened to its fastest since last September.
"The Canadian manufacturing sector experienced a relatively lacklustre start to the New Year amid ongoing global economic uncertainty," said Craig Wright , senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "As some of the more extreme downside risk scenarios look less likely now, we should see confidence in the global economy improve, paving the way for a stronger recovery in Canadian manufacturing."In addition to the headline RBC PMI , the survey also tracks changes in output, new orders, employment, inventories, prices and supplier delivery times. Key findings from the January survey include:
- RBC PMI only slightly higher than the survey lows reported in November and December;
- output increases for first time in three months, albeit only marginally; and
- slowest rate of job creation in 12 months.
- Manufacturing business conditions in both Alberta and British Columbia and Ontario improved in January.
- Reduced levels of new business only posted in Quebec , with growth signalled elsewhere.
- Strongest rate of job creation recorded by manufacturers in Ontario .
- All four regions recorded faster rates of input price inflation in January, with the strongest rise posted in Alberta and British Columbia .