OTTAWA — Manufacturing sales grew 0.3 per cent to $54.1 billion in October, led by the paper, and petroleum and coal industries, Statistics Canada said Tuesday.
The agency said the rise followed a revised increase of 2.2 per cent for September compared with an earlier reading of 1.5 per cent.
TD Bank economist Omar Abdelrahman said like most other areas of the economy, momentum in Canada's manufacturing sector has been losing steam.
"Importantly, this backward-looking release doesn't fully capture the potential impacts of renewed restrictions domestically and abroad on demand for some manufacturing products," Abdelrahman wrote in a report.
"Against this backdrop, the near-term path for the sector is expected to remain bumpy and uneven until vaccine rollouts accelerate in the spring of 2021."
Vaccinations of health care workers and long-term care residents began this week, but broader vaccinations are not expected in the short term.
The growth in manufacturing sales in October came as paper manufacturing sales climbed 5.4 per cent to $2.4 billion on higher sales in the pulp, paper and paperboard mills industries.
Petroleum and coal product industry sales increased 3.1 per cent to $3.9 billion.
Meanwhile, the aerospace product and parts industry fell 5.9 per cent to $1.6 billion in October, following a 15.3 per cent increase in September.
Statistics Canada says aerospace manufacturers ramped down production due to the collapse in demand and uncertainty surrounding the length of global travel restrictions during the second wave of COVID-19.
Year over year, overall manufacturing sales were down 5.2 per cent.
In constant dollars, Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales in October were unchanged, indicating that the increase for the month was driven entirely by higher prices.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2020.