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Canadian manufacturing business conditions continued to expand in February but at the slowest pace since August 2013, according to the Royal Bank of Canada’s Canadian manufacturing purchasing managers’ index.
February’s reading of 52.9 is above the 50.0 no-change mark and up slightly from a nine-month low of 51.7 in January. The RBC PMI is a monthly survey conducted in association with Markit, a financial information services company, and the Supply Chain Management Association.
Manufacturers indicated a return to jobs growth in February, following a slight reduction in staffing levels during the previous month. However, the pace of employment growth was only marginal and a number of firms noted that weaker new business gains had led to cautious staff hiring policies.
“Solid output growth and a return to net job creation were the main positive findings in February's survey,” said Cheryl Paradowski, president and CEO of the Supply Chain Management Association. “However, a much slower rate of new export order growth weighed on the Canadian manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, there were reports that recent currency depreciation had helped push up input cost inflation to its fastest for almost three years.”
The RBC PMI is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in more than 400 industrial companies.