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Canadian manufacturing business conditions continued to expand in January but at the slowest pace since April 2013, according to the Royal Bank of Canada’s Canadian manufacturing purchasing managers’ index. January’s reading of 51.7 is down from December’s reading of 53.5, although it is still above the 50.0 no-change mark. The RBC PMI is a monthly survey conducted in association with Markit, a financial information services company, and the Supply Chain Management Association.
Manufacturing employment in Canada fell for first time in two years in January. Anecdotal evidence from survey respondents suggested that manufacturers had taken a cautious approach to staff hiring in response to softer new business growth at their plants, according to the report.
“Canadian manufacturing growth stepped down a gear at the start of 2014, as highlighted by the slowest rises in production and new orders for five months,” said Cheryl Paradowski, president and CEO of the Supply Chain Management Association. “Softer gains in new work resulted in the first overall drop in employment for two years. However, the latest figures suggest resilient export sales across the manufacturing sector as new business from abroad picked up at the sharpest rate since last September.”
The RBC PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 400 industrial companies.