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Commenting on the 0.7% decline seen in Manufacturing Sales data from Canada, “notwithstanding transitory factors adding to volatility in the headline sales numbers, underlying trends in the Canadian manufacturing sector were on the soft side at the end of 2019,” noted  Nathan Janzen, Senior Economist at the Royal Bank of Canada.

Key quotes

“An easing in US-China trade tensions – with positive implications for the US industrial sector and, by extension, Canada’s – meant 2020 started off with more optimism.”

“But the outlook is being clouded once again by concerns about the impact on global industrial chains from the novel coronavirus outbreak and, in Canada, another round of disruptions to rail transportation via the ongoing blockade of main rail lines, particularly in eastern Canada.”

“We continue to expect overall Canadian economic growth will remain on the soft side in early 2020 after little or no growth in the last quarter of 2019.”