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Manufacturer’s October shipments down 11% from a year ago

Ottawa, ON -- Dec. 18, 2001 -- Manufacturers across Canada are feeling the pinch of reduced sales. According to Sta...


Ottawa, ON — Dec. 18, 2001 — Manufacturers across Canada are feeling the pinch of reduced sales. According to Statistics Canada’s latest figures, shipments of manufactured goods dropped in October 2001 to $40.4 billion, down 2.9% from September.

October shipments are down 11.3% from the same month a year ago. In total, 13 of 21 industry sectors reported lower shipment values for the month. Inventories and unfilled orders also declined.

The decline was caused by temporary closures in the motor-vehicle industry and slowing production in the aerospace, and oil and coal sectors, the agency reported.

Industrial capacity utilization rates also continued to decline in the third quarter of 2001, largely because of the contraction in the manufacturing sector. Manufacturers operated at 77.4% of their capacity in the third quarter, down 2.6 percentage points from the second, reflecting lower output levels. The computer and electronic products industry was the hardest hit, followed by the motor vehicle, chemicals and wood products industries.

The weakening of the manufacturing sector is reflected not only in lower shipments, but also in employment. According to the latest results of the Labour Force Survey, manufacturing employment fell by 30,000 in November, largely due to job losses in the computer and electronic products industry.

After strong growth in 2000, manufacturing employment fell by 105,000 (down 4.5%) in the first 11 months of 2001. The majority of the manufacturing jobs lost this year occurred in October and November.

By Bill Roebuck, Editor