Canadian manufacturing sees modest improvement: PMI

Purchasing manager index see both new orders and output increased

March 6, 2012
by Purchasing b2b staff

TORONTO: Production and new orders increased modestly in February, according to the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (RBC PMI) done with PMAC and financial information services company Markit. The headline RBC PMI posted 51.8 in February—up from 50.6 in January—a modest improvement in Canadian manufacturing business conditions.

The index found new orders and output increased. Meanwhile, Canadian manufacturers hired additional staff and the input price inflation rate strengthened to a six-month high. Canadian manufacturers raised production and depleted stocks in February. Output rose modestly and at a stronger rate than that registered in the previous survey period. Outstanding business was broadly unchanged.

Companies bought a larger amount of inputs during the latest survey and input inventories were reduced. Anecdotal evidence generally attributed gains in purchases to higher new work intakes. Suppliers’ delivery times lengthened to the greatest extent in three months. Firms suggested vendors had difficulty sourcing key raw materials during the survey period.

Input costs increased further, and raw materials like steel and fuel were mentioned as increasing. Firms passed greater cost burdens on to clients by raising output charges. Regional highlights include:

•    Conditions improved in three regions (except Quebec);
•    Ontario’s incoming new work showed the largest increase;
•    Alberta and BC reported the fastest employment growth; and
•    Input price inflation rates strengthened in all four regions, with the strongest input cost rise in Alberta and BC.