Manufacturing sales fell by a record amount in April, the first full month of physical distancing measures in the wake of COVID-19.

The agency says manufacturing sales fell 28.5 percent to $36.4 billion in April, following a 9.8 per cent decline in March when the pandemic first began to take hold.

The average decline of 20.0 percent had been anticipated by experts.

Sales were down in all 21 industries, led by the transportation equipment and petroleum and coal product industries.
Sales in the transportation equipment industry fell by 76.4 per cent to $1.9 billion in April, the largest drop on record, as Canadian vehicle assembly plants stopped operations, while the petroleum and coal product industry sales dropped by a record 46.4 percent to $2.0 billion.

Manufacturing sales in volume terms fell by a record 26.0 per cent.

As the economy opens, manufacturing sales could slowly rise but it could take years before things are back to what it was before the pandemic.

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