Canada’s manufacturing sales increased by 0.5% to CA$60.3 billion in August, their highest level on record, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Thursday. This growth was mainly driven by high energy demand and prices.
August marked the first month of all provinces lifting most COVID-19 restrictions, as the country’s vaccination rate surpassed the 70% mark. With that, demand grew, but supply chain issues persisted.
The largest increase came from petroleum and coal product sales, which rose by 7.3% to $6.6 billion, their highest level since 2019 and prospective of the thirst for energy that would send the world into an energy crisis in September. Similarly, chemical manufacturing climbed by 6.3% to a record high of $5.4 billion.
These figures reflect the increases in quantity sold when there is no shortage in supply to meet the surging demand of a reopening economy.
After months of growth, motor vehicle sales saw a fall of 8.7%—and motor vehicle parts 10.5%—from July due to the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips. The shortage of motor vehicles continued and demand grew as Canadians started traveling and going back to the office, pushing prices to historic highs.
These trends are expected to continue, with demand for manufacturing products remaining strong. The categories experiencing decreases are mostly due to bottlenecks in the supply chain that are not expected to be resolved in the coming months.
Middle market businesses in manufacturing not experiencing supply chain issues will benefit from the high demand, while others will see increases in prices in their purchases of industrial products.