Monday, February 16, 2009

December Manufacturing Sales Plummet

(David Ljunggren — Reuters/Globe & Mail)

The value of Canadian manufacturing shipments plummeted a record 8.0 per cent in December from November in yet another stark sign of how the global crisis is battering Canada.

The drop – the fifth consecutive month-on-month decrease – was far steeper than the 5.3 per cent fall predicted by analysts and was the worst since Statistics Canada adopted its current method of calculating the data in January 1992.

Statscan released the data Monday and slightly revised November's month-on-month fall to 6.2 per cent from an initial plunge of 6.4 per cent.

Recent Canadian economic numbers have been little short of calamitous. Job losses in January were the biggest on record while sales of previously owned homes last month were 41 per cent down from a year earlier.

As if that were not bad enough, Canada posted its first trade deficit in almost 33 years in December.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty told Reuters in Rome on Saturday that “I expect the numbers of all kinds to continue getting worse month after month this year.” Read more here.