Mfg sales fall faster than normal: StatsCan Canadian manufacturing sales plunged an outsized 3.1% in December, the largest monthly decline since May 2009 and well-below market expectations for a 0.8% drop. November’s previously reported 1.7% increase was revised up to 1.9%; however, October’s reading was revised down to -1.8% from -1.2% previously. Much of the weakness in December reflected a larger-than-expected 15.4% drop in motor vehicle sales that offset a 6.5% gain in aerospace sales to send the transportation component down 9.1% in the month. The weakness in auto sales may have reflected difficulties seasonally adjusting the data around the December holiday period; however, excluding the auto component sales were still down 1.9% reflecting relatively broadly-based weakness. In all, 16 of 21 industries reported lower sales in December. As well, the decline in nominal sales overall was despite lower prices with the volume of sales declining an even greater 3.8% in the month. Manufacturing inventories declined sharply for a second consecutive month, declining 1.0% in December following a 0.8% decline in November. On a regional basis, a total of six provinces reported lower sales; however, the bulk of the weakness was concentrated in a 4.6% decline in Ontario, driven by a 15.9% drop in motor vehicle assemblies.