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Saskatchewan manufacturing sales strong through first half of 2014, on pace to hit $17 billion on the year

Published by CME Staff on August 15, 2014

Saskatchewan manufacturing sales were up by more than 8.9 per cent during the first half of 2014, led by strong growth in non-durable goods (10.4 per cent), according to new data released today by Statistics Canada. 

While the industry remained relatively unchanged in June, posting a modest 0.2 per cent decline over May, it rose by more than 10 per cent compared to last year's June numbers, and is now on pace to close in on the $17 billion mark by the end of the year. The previous annual record of $15.7 billion was set in 2013. 

"Now more than ever, the world needs what Saskatchewan manufacturers are producing," explains Derek Lothian, Vice President of Canadian Manufactures & Exporters (CME) and Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council. "So there is good reason to be optimistic. But business conditions are ever-changing, and it is critical we continue providing the supports necessary to allow manufacturers to be agile, adapt, invest and grow." 

Lothian points to shifting pressures in both domestic and global markets, as well as ongoing productivity and workforce challenges, as reason for vigilance. He says that dampened demand for products in the resource development sector in particular have strained strategic sub-sectors of Saskatchewan's value chain.

Since January, machinery sales have dropped by 1.7 per cent; and, although fabricated metal has rebounded 7.3 per cent through the first six months of 2014, it is still working to recoup the double-digit loss suffered last year. 

"Where there is challenge, there is almost always opportunity. And we are fortunate there is more of the latter on the horizon through the remainder of the year," says Lothian. "Much like a football game, however, it isn't about how you perform on the opening drive, it's about how well you execute in the fourth quarter." 

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