OTTAWA, THE CANADIAN PRESS — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales rose 0.9 percent to $54.2 billion in December led by sales of wood products, transportation equipment, and petroleum and coal products.
The agency says there were record-high sales of wood products in the final month of 2020, as higher lumber prices pushed sales up 8.3 percent to $3.7 billion in a rush of new home sales and renovations.
Petroleum and coal product sales rose 4.7 percent to $4.2 billion amid higher energy prices in December, and there was a 26.9 percent uptick in sales of railroad rolling stock, as transportation equipment sales rebounded.
The December report comes as wood manufacturers coped with shortages and supply constraints amid a renovation boom last year — while manufacturers of transportation equipment and coal and petroleum products vied for a turnaround.
Transportation, coal, and petroleum accounted for three-quarters of last year’s decline in manufacturing sales, which dropped 11.4 percent to $610.6 billion in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic led to widespread shutdowns and scaled-back production.
Statistics Canada says in December, manufacturing sales rose in nine provinces but fell in Ontario, where sales slid for chemicals, plastics, and rubber products and the COVID-19 pandemic hit Toronto manufacturing sales harder than other cities.