Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (MSM)

Detailed information for January 2001





Record number:


The Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (MSM) publishes statistical series for manufacturers -- sales of goods manufactured, inventories, unfilled orders and new orders.


The MSM publishes the values (in Canadian dollars) of sales of goods manufactured, inventories and orders. The MSM data are used as indicators of the economic condition of manufacturing industries; as inputs to Canada's Gross Domestic Product; as components in the Statistics Canada (STC) composite indicator; as input to economic studies, and in econometric models (e.g. to determine market share, apparent domestic availability, etc.). Results from this survey are used by both the private and public sectors including finance departments of the federal and provincial governments, the Bank of Canada, Industry Canada, the System of National Accounts, the manufacturing community, consultants and research organizations in Canada, the United States and abroad, and the business press.

Reference period: Month


  • Manufacturing

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population consists of incorporated and non-incorporated establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing.

Instrument design

The design of the MSM questionnaire, which dates back over 15 years, is meant to collect major indicators of the economic activity of the manufacturing sector. The development of the questionnaire took into account the ability of respondents to provide the requested type of data.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Since 1999, Statistics Canada's Business Register provides the sampling frame for the Monthly Survey of Manufacturing (MSM). The target population for the MSM consists of all statistical establishments on the business register that are classified to the manufacturing sector. The sampling frame for the MSM is determined from the target population after subtracting establishments that represent the bottom 2% of the total manufacturing shipments estimate for each province. These establishments are excluded from the frame so that the sample size can be reduced without significantly affecting quality.

The MSM sample is a representative sample comprised of approximately 11,000 establishments.

Prior to selection, the sampling frame is subdivided into industry-province cells. For the most part, North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes are used. Depending upon the number of establishments within each cell, further subdivisions are made to group similar sized establishments together (called stratum). An establishment's size is based on its most recently available annual shipments or sales value.

Each industry by province cell has a 'take-all' stratum composed of establishments sampled each month with certainty. This 'take-all' stratum is composed of establishments that are the largest statistical enterprises, and have the largest impact on estimates within a particular industry by province cell. These large statistical enterprises are found in the top 45% of the national manufacturing shipment estimates.

Each industry - province cell can have at most three 'take some' stratums. Not all establishments within these stratums need to be sampled with certainty. A random sample is drawn from the remaining strata. The responses from these sampled establishments are weighted according to the inverse of their probability of selection.

An initial sample was drawn in 1998, when the survey was converted to NAICS. This sample is refreshed each month by including a sample of the birth in the population. Every three years, all establishments in the sample are re-stratified to take into account changes in their value of shipments, dead units are removed from the sample and some small units are rotated out, while others are rotated into the sample.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Basic collection, data capture, preliminary edit and follow-up of non-respondents are primarily performed by staff in the Statistics Canada regional offices. Sampled companies are contacted either by mail or telephone, whichever they prefer. Data capture and preliminary editing are performed simultaneously to ensure the validity of the data. Companies from which no response has been received or whose data may contain errors, are followed-up immediately.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

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