Ottawa, ON — Statistics Canada reports that Canadian manufacturing shipments rose 1.4% to $44.7 billion in March, 2003 — the highest level since November 2000.
This resulted in a 2.2% increase in shipments in the first quarter, more than enough to compensate for the 0.9% decline in the fourth quarter of 2002, StatsCanada said.
A total of 13 of the 21 manufacturing industries, representing 65% of total shipments, reported increases in March. Shipments for petroleum and coal were up 5.5% to $3.6 billion. Motor vehicle shipments rose 6.2% to $25.1 billion.
The value of new orders rose 1.6% to $44.5 billion, their highest level since August 2002. Unfilled orders fell 0.4% to $42.9 billion and inventories rose 0.4% to 63.7 billion. With shipments rising faster than inventories, the inventory-to-shipment ratio fell to 1.43 in March from 1.44 in February.
Ontario, which accounted for more than half of Canada’s manufacturing output, saw March shipments increase 2.4% to $23.9 billion.