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Oil, mining drive November manufacturing sales

Published by Steve Coleman on January 19, 2012

Canadian manufacturers can thank the resource sector for most of November's sales increases.

Statistics Canada says work at mines and on the oil patch helped boost manufacturing sales two percentage points in November.

"The machinery industry reached its highest sales level ever in November with sales rising 13.4 per cent to $3.4 billion," says Statistics Canada's look at the November numbers. "The growth was mostly concentrated in the mining and oil and gas field machinery manufacturing industry, where a number of companies completed large projects for delivery to both domestic and international customers."

The buying spree was fuelled, in part, by the fourth month of growth in the last five for the petroleum and coal industries. Combined, sales in both shot up 3.9 per cent to $7.6 billion. Summer retooling and maintenance put a dent in production during the warmer months.

The other big gain for the month in vehicle sales. Manufacturers reported a 7.1 per cent increase to $4.1 billion. Since the vehicle market bottomed out in June 2011, sales have come back 24.9 per cent.

Slower sales in the computer and electronics industries dropped their numbers 11 per cent to $1.2 billion for the month.

"Mining, oil and gas is driving the growth in manufacturing," said Martin Lavoie, Director, Manufacturing Competitiveness & Innovation Policy for CME. "It's one of the reasons CME is a big supporter of the big pipeline projects in the north and the major oil and gas developments. The problem at the moment is that all of these projects are only discussed in terms of environmental value."

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