Purchasing Managers' Index™

IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI™



  • Canadian manufacturers signal softer output growth in January
  • Slowest rise in new work for over two years
  • Input prices inflation continues to moderate at start of 2019

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Manufacturers in Canada reported another loss of momentum at the start of 2019, with output and new business growth easing further from the peaks seen last summer. Export sales remained particularly subdued in January, with this index pointing to a marginal fall in new work from abroad.

On a more positive note, manufacturing companies signalled a robust pace of job creation and slower input cost inflation during the latest survey period.

The headline seasonally adjusted IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) eased from 53.6 in December to 53.0 in January. Although still above the crucial 50.0 no-change threshold, the latest reading pointed to the weakest improvement in overall business conditions since December 2016.

Mirroring the trend signalled by the headline PMI, the latest survey pointed to the slowest rise in production volumes for 25 months during January. Anecdotal evidence suggested that a general slowdown in client demand had held back output growth at the start of 2019.

January data pointed to only a moderate rise in new work received by manufacturing companies. The rate of new business growth eased for the second month running and was the weakest since October 2016. Moreover, new export orders fell in January, albeit only slightly. Survey respondents noted that ongoing global trade frictions had dampened business confidence and contributed to more cautious spending patterns among clients.

Backlogs of work increased for the fourth month running in January. Manufacturers attributed rising volumes of unfinished work to capacity pressures and, in some cases, longer lead-times from suppliers.

A strong rate of employment growth was maintained across the manufacturing sector in January. Companies reporting a rise in their staffing levels generally cited long-term business expansion plans and hopes of a rebound in demand over the course of 2019.

Latest data signalled an improvement in business confidence regarding the year ahead outlook for production. The degree of positive sentiment was the highest recorded since August 2018. Some manufacturers commented on hopes that global trade conditions would start to improve. Survey respondents also generally commented on positive expectations in relation to demand from US markets.

Meanwhile, input cost inflation moderated to a 17-month low in January. However, factory gate charges increased at a slightly faster pace than in December. Manufacturers widely commented on the need to pass on higher imported raw material costs. Higher steel prices and exchange rate depreciation against the US dollar were frequently reported as a reason for rising cost burdens in January.

Regional data indicated a particularly marked slowdown in output growth across Alberta & British Columbia, driven by an overall decline in new work first the first time since August 2016. Quebec was the strongest performing region overall in January, followed closely by a solid upturn in manufacturing conditions in Ontario.

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Christian Buhagiar, President and CEO at SCMA said:

“January data highlights that the manufacturing sector got off to a slow start in 2019, with the loss of momentum centred on the weakest increase in new business volumes for more than two years. Survey respondents noted that global trade frictions and subdued business confidence among clients had once again acted as a break on client demand.

“There were some signs that manufacturers expect the slowdown in manufacturing conditions to prove temporary, as signalled by the robust rate of job creation reported in January. Optimism regarding the business outlook also improved at the start of 2019, with output growth projections now the strongest since last August. Manufacturers attributed their positive expectations to planned expansions of production capacity and hopes of strengthening demand in US markets."


For further information, please contact:

IHS Markit
Joanna Vickers, Corporate Communications
Telephone +44-207-260-2234
E-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Supply Chain Management Association™
Lynne Coles, Vice President, Growth and Chief Marketing Officer
Telephone 416-542-3860
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note to Editors:

The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI™ Report is based on data compiled from monthly replies to questionnaires sent to purchasing executives in over 400 industrial companies. The panel is stratified by company workforce size and by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) group, based on industry contribution to Canada GDP.

Survey responses reflect the change, if any, in the current month compared to the previous month based on data collected mid-month. For each of the indicators the ‘Report’ shows the percentage reporting each response, the net difference between the number of higher/better responses and lower/worse responses, and the ‘diffusion’ index. This index is the sum of the positive responses plus a half of those responding ‘the same’.

Diffusion indexes have the properties of leading indicators and are convenient summary measures showing the prevailing direction of change. An index reading above 50 indicates an overall increase in that variable, below 50 an overall decrease. The IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI™) is a composite index based on five of the individual indexes with the following weights: New Orders - 0.3, Output - 0.25, Employment - 0.2, Suppliers’ Delivery Times - 0.15, Stock of Items Purchased - 0.1, with the Delivery Times Index inverted so that it moves in a comparable direction.

The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey methodology has developed an outstanding reputation for providing the most up-to-date possible indication of what is really happening in the private sector economy by tracking variables such as sales, employment, inventories and prices. The indices are widely used by businesses, governments and economic analysts in financial institutions to help better understand business conditions and guide corporate and investment strategy. In particular, central banks in many countries (including the European Central Bank) use the data to help make interest rate decisions. PMI surveys are the first indicators of economic conditions published each month and are therefore available well ahead of comparable data produced by government bodies.

IHS Markit does not revise underlying survey data after first publication, but seasonal adjustment factors may be revised from time to time as appropriate which will affect the seasonally adjusted data series. Historical data relating to the underlying (unadjusted) numbers, first published seasonally adjusted series and subsequently revised data are available to subscribers from IHS Markit. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

About Supply Chain Management Association™

The Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA)™ is Canada’s largest association for supply chain management professionals. We represent 7,000 members as well as the wider profession working in roles that cover sourcing, procurement, logistics, inventory, and contract management. SCMA™ sets the standards for excellence and ethics, and is the principal source of professional development and accreditation in supply chain management in Canada. www.scma.com.

About IHS Markit (www.ihsmarkit.com)

IHS Markit (Nasdaq: INFO) is a world leader in critical information, analytics and expertise to forge solutions for the major industries and markets that drive economies worldwide. The company delivers next-generation information, analytics and solutions to customers in business, finance and government, improving their operational efficiency and providing deep insights that lead to well-informed, confident decisions. IHS Markit has more than 50,000 key business and government customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune Global 500 and the world’s leading financial institutions.  Headquartered in London, IHS Markit is committed to sustainable, profitable growth.

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About PMI

Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI™) surveys are now available for over 40 countries and also for key regions including the eurozone. They are the most closely-watched business surveys in the world, favoured by central banks, financial markets and business decision makers for their ability to provide up-to-date, accurate and often unique monthly indicators of economic trends. To learn more go to www.ihsmarkit.com/product/pmi.

The intellectual property rights to the IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI™ provided herein are owned by or licensed to IHS Markit. Any unauthorised use, including but not limited to copying, distributing, transmitting or otherwise of any data appearing is not permitted without IHS Markit’s prior consent. IHS Markit shall not have any liability, duty or obligation for or relating to the content or information (“data”) contained herein, any errors, inaccuracies, omissions or delays in the data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. In no event shall IHS Markit be liable for any special, incidental, or consequential damages, arising out of the use of the data. Purchasing Managers' Index® and PMI™ are either registered trade marks of Markit Economics Limited or licensed to Markit Economics Limited. IHS Markit is a registered trademark of IHS Markit Ltd.