Canada PMI May 2020


Canada: Manufacturing sector deteriorates at a softer clip in May

June 1, 2020

In May, the IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased from 33.0 in April to 40.6. Nevertheless, the index remained well below the neutral 50-threshold, signaling a deterioration in manufacturing operating conditions from the previous month.

May’s result reflected softer declines in output, new orders and employment, but all were still the second-sharpest decreases in the survey’s history. Social distancing forced manufacturers to restrict capacity to abide by new regulations in the workplace to limit the exposure and spread of the virus to ensure worker safety. Moreover, roughly 40% of survey respondents reported a decline in staffing levels in May.

On the price front, input prices increased notably, which was likely tied to the sharp depreciation of the Canadian loonie relative to the U.S. greenback.

Commenting on the print, Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, noted:

“May data highlights that the Canadian manufacturing sector remains on a steep downward trajectory, despite the speed of decline moderating from April's survey record. A severe drop in demand from both domestic and export markets amid the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in sharp cutbacks to production volumes.”

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect fixed investment to decline 10.7% in 2020, which is down 0.6 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2021, our panel projects fixed investment to increase 2.8%.

Author:, Economist

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Canada PMI Chart

Canada PMI May 20 20

Note: IHS Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index. Readings above 50 indicate an overall increase compared to the previous month, and below 50 an overall decrease.
Source: IHS Markit.

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