Canada factory activity sees strong growth despite supply shocks

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FILE PHOTO: An automated packing line at Promation, a robotics engineering and automation manufacturing firm in Oakville, Ontario, Canada March 12, 2021. Businesshala / Carlos Osorio
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TORONTO (Businesshala) – Canada’s manufacturing activity rose in September at a pace that changed little from the previous month’s strong levels, while global supply shocks helped push inflation measures to a record high, data showed on Friday.

The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 57.0 in September from 57.2 in August, but not far from March’s record-setting pace of 58.5.

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This was the 15th consecutive month that the PMI was above the threshold marking growth of 50 in the region.

“Canada’s manufacturing sector reported another healthy improvement in operating conditions in September despite rising infection rates in key provinces,” IHS Markit economist Shreya Patel said in a statement.

Canada is battling a delta-driven fourth wave of coronavirus infections, while pandemic restrictions have contributed to roadblocks globally.

“The shortage of material led to price hikes, delays in shipping and subsequent increase in unfinished work,” Patel said. “Anecdotal evidence suggests that firms sought to clean up their backlogs but a lack of skilled workers hindered productivity.”

The measure of accumulated outstanding trade corresponds to a series high since June 2018, rising from 55.6 in August to 56.6, while the indices for input prices and output prices climbed to all-time highs on record.

Nevertheless, the firm remained optimistic about the growth prospects, with the future output index climbing to the highest level since May 2019.

Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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