Factory Orders Were Down In Canada In October
- Statistics Canada announced last week that Canadian factory sales decreased by 0.7 percent in October from September due to lower sales in transportation equipment, which were down 3.1 percent, as well as fabricated metal products, which fell 8.2 percent. Statistics Canada said the lower activity at auto assembly plants and parts plants was due in part to the United Auto Workers strike in the United States.
- The manufacturing sectors in various regions of the United States have been mixed so far this month. Activity decreased in the Midwest region and the in the Central Atlantic It held steady in the New York and Philadelphia regions.
- According to the National Association of Manufacturers’ Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2019, manufacturing optimism has stabilized with nearly 68 percent of manufacturers reporting a positive outlook for their business. The inability to attract and retain a quality workforce remained manufacturers’ top business concern (63.8 percent) for the ninth straight quarter. (Indeed, the U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that there were nearly 7.3 million jobs that went unfilled in the United States in October, including almost half a million jobs in the manufacturing sector.)
- In other economic news: wholesale sales in Canada fell 1.1 percent to $64.2 billion in October, weighed down by a three percent decline in the machinery, equipment and supplies subsector. retail sales fell 1.2 percent in Canada from September to October, the largest decline this year; U.S. housing starts rose 3.2 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.37 million units in November; the number of existing homes sold in the United States fell 1.7 percent from October 2019 to November 2019, but increased 2.7 percent from November 2018 to November 2019; the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment indexincreased to 99.3 in December from 96.8 in November.