Manufacturing Slump Threatens Q2 Growth
Statistics Canada reported today, â€œManufacturing sales fell 2.4% in April to $48.2 billion â€” the fourth decline in five months and the largest monthly percentage drop since August 2009.â€
That gets the second quarter off to a bad start. Strong economic growth in the first quarter of this year (January, February, March) was underpinned by the manufacturing sectorâ€™s swing into positive territory from a large decline in the fourth quarter of 2012. If manufacturing output falls back into decline, it could drag down the wider economy.
Unfortunately, weak manufacturing sales seem consistent with employment data. While the Labour Force Survey has been volatile in recent months, a consistent trend has been declining manufacturing employment. Canada has lost 99,000 manufacturing jobs over the past year, in addition to the half a million lost over the preceding decade.
UPDATE (June 16): Quoted by Canadian Press