TORONTO, May 1, 2013 /CNW/ - The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index™ (RBC PMI™) suggests that the Canadian manufacturing sector stagnated in April - an improvement from the contraction observed in March. 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 - registered 50.1 in April and, posting only slightly above the 50.0 no-change mark, signalled broadly no change in overall manufacturing business conditions. However, the PMI nonetheless rose from a survey-low of 49.3 in March, which was consistent with a modest deterioration in operating conditions.
The RBC PMI found that manufacturing output levels in April were largely the same as March, despite the volume of new orders having increased, albeit only marginally. Employment was also little-changed, seeing only a slight rise in staff numbers since March. On the price front, the rates of increase for both input costs and output charges eased, with the rate of input price inflation, in particular, the slowest in nine months.
" Canada's manufacturing sector kept its head above water in April, registering some improvement over the surprising series low recorded last month," said Craig Wright , senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "While the overall gains made in April were tepid, we expect manufacturing output to pick-up, augmenting export activity and supporting Canada's growth prospects."The headline RBC PMI reflects changes in output, new orders, employment, inventories, prices and supplier delivery times. Key findings from the April survey include:
- Output levels largely unchanged in April, following a reduction in March;
- marginal rise in total new work; and
- slowest rate of input price inflation since July 2012.
- Solid falls in manufacturing output were recorded for Alberta and British Columbia and Ontario .
- Following a deterioration in March, manufacturing business conditions in Quebec improved during April.
- Manufacturers in Quebec saw the strongest rise in new export work in April.
- Employment growth was recorded in two of the four regions, with the strongest increase posted in Quebec .
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