TORONTO Feb 3 The pace of growth in Canada'
manufacturing sector cooled again in January, hitting its lowest
level in nine months, data showed on Monday.
The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index
(PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, fell to a
seasonally adjusted 51.7 last month from 53.5 in December.
The reading was above 50, and therefore shows there was
still growth in the sector, though the rate has been slowing for
the past three months.
The index's forward-looking new orders measure slipped to
52.9, while the employment gauge shrank to 49.8, the first time
staffing levels have fallen in two years.
The weakness in hiring bodes poorly for the country's
employment report due at the end of the week, though that report
is forecast to show a snapback in January after the economy
unexpectedly shed jobs at the end of last year.
The purchasing manager's index of input prices rose to 59,
its highest level since April 2012. The Canadian dollar came
under significant selling pressure in January, which would
generally make it more expensive for Canadian companies to
import materials from abroad.
Still, a weaker currency can also be a boon for exporters
and manufacturers. The index's measure of new export orders rose
to 53 from 50.9 in December.
"Underlying economic conditions - such as stronger growth in
the U.S. economy and a weaker Canadian dollar - remain
supportive for the outlook for domestic manufacturing in the
period ahead," Craig Wright, chief economist at RBC, said in a