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Canadian manufacturers run at higher capacity

Published by Steve Coleman on March 14, 2012

Canadian industries were a little closer to running at capacity in the final three months of 2011 than they were the previous quarter.

New numbers from Statistics Canada say industries operated at an average of 80.5 per cent at the end of 2011, up from an even 80 per cent from July to the end of September.

Analysts say the numbers would have been higher if not for a slight decrease in the non-manufacturing sector's statistics.

Except for a hiccup in the second quarter of 2011, Canadian manufacturers have been creeping closer to operating at full capacity since the second quarter of 2009. The number is still below the high-water mark of 83.4 per cent for the first three months of 2007.

Without non-manufacturing numbers, production at manufacturing industries was up 1.4 per cent from the previous quarter.

Statistics Canada says that manufacturers in 12 of the 21 major categories had to put more of their capacity to use, while seven sectors declined. For two of them, the numbers remained stable.

Transportation equipment, machinery as well as chemical, plastic products and metal products reported most of the growth for the period. The paper manufacturing industry, along with food, printing and the petroleum and coal products industries were reported to be using less capacity than they were three months earlier.

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