Manufacturing News from the Engineered Designer Perspective

Manufacturing sales up in September but shadow of Trump looms over Canada

statistics-canada-machie-parts-manufacturing-september-metals-transportation-equipment-trump-duguid-ediweekly

Manufacturing sales rose for the fourth consecutive month in September, Statistics Canada reports, mainly on the strength of transportation equipment and fabricated metal industries. The 0.3 per cent rise was higher than economists had expected, and sales for the month had a value of $51.5 billion. This was down 0.2 per cent in constant dollar terms, which indicates that volumes of sales were were actually lower.

The transportation equipment industry includes railroad rolling stock, motor vehicles and aerospace parts and products. All of these experienced gains in September, with sales rising 1.5 per cent to $10.6 billion. Fabricated metal producers reported a 2.4 per cent increase in sales, worth $2.7 billion, mainly in architectural and structural metals.

The largest gains by province were in Quebec and Ontario. Ontario’s sales were up 0.3 per cent, coming to $25.1 billion, again mostly due to transportation equipment and fabricated metal industries.

statistics-canada-manufacturing-september-metals-transportation-equipment-trump-duguid-ediweekly
Manufacturing sales in Canada. Source: Statistics Canada

Despite the relatively good news for manufacturers, a cloud hangs over the sector in the wake of the US election. With Donald Trump threatening to take a hard look at NAFTA and to scrap it altogether if he doesn’t like what he sees, Canada could be in for some hard bargaining. But one of the men who negotiated the deal on the US side back in 1993, Mickey Kantor, says the pact is terribly out of date and needs to be revisited. While he believes in NAFTA and touts the economic benefits it has brought to all three signatories, he says it was negotiated in a different time, a world where there was no internet, no cloud, no problem with data transfer.

The fact that the agreement is out of date does not mean it’s a bad agreement. However, reopening it could lead to more problems with perennial Canada-US irritants like softwood lumber, dairy products, and beef.

The importance of Canada’s trade with the US cannot be overstated, and one sector that has been critical to that export economy is manufacturing. According to the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, which represents more than 10,000 manufacturing exporters, Canada’s trade deficit in manufactured goods has “ballooned” in recent years. The group has therefore launched an initiative, Industrie 2030, to double manufacturing in Canada by 2030. This will require growing the labour pool, incorporating new technologies, fostering innovation and commercialization of new products, improving the business environment and increasing market access for Canada’s manufactured goods. That access, the group says, has dropped by 2 per cent over the past fifteen years.

trump-statistics-canada-manufacturing-september-metals-transportation-equipment-trump-duguid-ediweekly
Just rhetoric, or should Canada really be worried?

Meanwhile, Ontario’s Economic Development Minister, Brad Duguid, has said it is too soon to worry about Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric about pulling out of NAFTA. According to Duguid, the value of trade between the two countries is $687 billion a year, half of that coming from Ontario. “Make no mistake,” he said. “They need us nearly as much as we need them.”

The fact that Trump was elected indicates that he “struck a chord” with those who feel disconnected from the economic growth that others are experiencing, regardless of the fact that unemployment in the US fell to just 4.9 per cent under Barack Obama. That disconnect between what people feel and what the economic indicators tell us is real, and governments need to recognize it, said Duguid. Some people have good reason to feel that they have been left behind, “because they have,” especially in the manufacturing sector. But it’s not realistic to think we can “roll back the clock” and return to “good old days” that no longer exist.

More Great Stories
SpaceX launches Immarsat 5 F4: continuing the Elon Musk tradition of innovation with commercial payback
Currently, as I write this, the Immarsat-5 Flight 4, livecast via YouTube (below) is at an altitude [more]
Richard Browning invents super human 450 km per hour “Iron Man” flight suit (video)
The idea of having superhuman capabilities, especially the ability to fly, has captivated us since a [more]
Clean technologies for mining: Green Mining’s time has come
In the United States, metal mining "creates nearly 30% of all the toxic releases measured annual [more]
3D printing, or additive manufacturing, becoming more mainstream across many manufacturing sectors
Additive manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing is growing in practicality and popularity. In [more]
Is Clean Diesel a myth, or a yet-to-come promise?
Four big cities have already moved to ban diesel from their cities: Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico [more]
Auto Sales Down Again for Big Car Makers
Demand is down again for automobiles in April, after an already weak March 2017. Overall, in Apr [more]
Technology that could help save the earth: Carbon Capture and Storage
No one technology can "save the earth" but, since carbon dioxide emissions are one of the major caus [more]
Creative work skills helping drive the 4th Industrial Revolution, the fusion of biological, digital and physical
The fusion of three worlds — biological, digital and physical — gave rise to the massive potenti [more]
3D printed homes in 24 Hours — printed on site: printed villas, offices and floating saunas?
3D Printing's potential has hardly been tapped. NASA has programs in place to 3D print components fo [more]
Wind capacity reaches 82,183 megawatts in US, enough to power 24 million homes
The United States is chasing after wind-friendly Europe and Asia. With wind power generating more po [more]
Vitamin-derived battery created by U of T chemists
The search for better batteries has taken another step forward with the work of chemists at the [more]
Tesla is now the number one valued carmaker in America, jumping ahead of GM
  No one could argue that Elon Musk's visionary approach to automobile engineering made [more]
Manufacturing continues to grow but exports decline, increasing Canada’s trade deficit in February
Canada’s manufacturing sector continued to grow in March according to the Markit Canada Manufa [more]
“Fireworks” in Canada’s economy as GDP rises 2.3 per cent in January
Canada’s economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.3 per cent in January, reports Statistics Can [more]

Other Popular News and Stories

  • Canadian business, except energy, had profitable Q4: Statistics Canada
  • SPPCA's new landing gear facility opening in Mississauga
  • Canadian oil production up; producers turning to railways for shipment
  • Bombardier holds update on CSeries aircraft
  • Bombardier nearly ready to flight test CSeries
  • Russian leasing company orders 42 CSeries jets from Bombardier
  • Miners struggling with higher costs, lower prices
  • Volkswagen to produce super-efficient hybrid
  • Skilled labour shortage in world oil industry: report
  • GM investing $250 million at Ingersoll plant
  • Canada keeping up pressure on US for Keystone XL approval
  • Economy managed slight growth in Q4, but shrank in December
  • Pratt & Whitney Canada announces helicopter engine contracts
  • Japex to buy into west coast LNG development
  • FTG Aerospace to supply avionics to Rockwell Collins
  • Clean energy expected to surge as pv costs drop
  • BC refinery close to financing deal
  • Manufacturing the sole industry showing job losses in February
  • DART Aerospace re-branding itself to reach wider markets
  • RV industry has growing role in Canada's economy: study