Manufacturing growth picks up for second month in April

Pickup in activity alongside solid U.S. domestic demand: Chief economist

OTTAWA (Reuters) — The Canadian manufacturing sector saw growth pick up for the second month in a row in April as businesses increased their production volumes in response to stronger demand, data showed on Monday.

The RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index (PMI), a measure of manufacturing business conditions, rose to a seasonally adjusted 52.2 last month from 51.5 in March.

A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector. April's was the highest level in over a year after the sector had a prolonged period of contraction that started last August.

Craig Wright, chief economist at RBC, said the recent trend in the sector was encouraging.

"This pickup in activity has come alongside solid U.S. domestic demand and a more competitive currency, which supports export activity," Wright said.

Output rose to 52.1 from 51.4, while new orders increased to 52.4 from 51.8. Businesses said they were seeing higher demand from U.S. clients due to the lower Canadian dollar, while some said they were boosting operating capacity at their plants.

Nonetheless, the pace of growth in new export orders slipped to 51.0 from 53.1.

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