A very solid start to the year for the Canadian manufacturing sector as sales rose 2.3 per cent to $53.1 billion, the highest level on record. Sales were led higher by gains in the motor vehicle, food and motor vehicle parts sectors, which accounted for 85 per cent of growth in January. In inflation adjusted terms, sales in January were at their highest level since July 2008, finally surpassing levels last seen before the 2008/09 recession.
In BC, where the manufacturing sector employs approximately 170,000 people, sales rose 0.7 per cent on a monthly basis and just 0.8 per cent year-over-year. The current slowdown in China is clearly having an impact on BC's trade and manufacturing sector, though stronger growth in the US and a low dollar should provide a boost to growth in coming months.