- Sales rose 1.5%, remained 3.6% below pre-shock (February) levels
- Sale volumes rose 2.1%
- Early manufacturing sector data for October was mixed
Manufacturing sales continued to edge higher in September, though held below pre-shock levels and were down 6.2% from a year ago. Early data for October was mixed. Manufacturing hours worked edged down 1.1% but were within 1.5% of year-ago levels. The October Markit manufacturing PMI also eased albeit to a still high 55.5. The rise in September manufacturing sales was led by increases in chemical and wood products.
The more pressing immediate concern remains accelerating COVID-19 spread and re-imposition of containment measures. Employment in accommodation & food services fell 48k in October as restaurants, gyms, etc. shut down once again in some of the country’s hot spots. To-date, most containment measures (both in Canada and abroad) have been concentrated in the already hard-hit hospitality sector. Overall employment still rose in October. But the spread of virus will remain a limit on the recovery in the economy until a vaccine can be widely distributed.