Machinery and equipment prices up in first quarter
Ottawa, ON -- Statistics Canada's Machinery and Equipment Price Index (1986=100) was 127.3 in the first quarter of ...
Ottawa, ON — Statistics Canada’s Machinery and Equipment Price Index (1986=100) was 127.3 in the first quarter of 2005, up 1.1% from the fourth quarter of 2004. The domestic and imported components increased 0.9% and 1.2% respectively. Compared with the first quarter of 2004, the index fell 1.0% due to a drop in the import series (-3.8%).
The first quarter increase of 1.1% was modest compared with declines of 1.6% in the third quarter and 2.7% in the fourth. Otherwise, the largest portion of the increase was due to manufacturing (+2.1%) and transport (+1.0%), and was concentrated in a few commodities.
Every industrial sector increased except agriculture (-0.7%). Chemical (+3.7%) and primary metals (+3.3%) contributed the most to the manufacturing increase. Transport, communication, storage and utilities was led by electricity power (+1.6%) and air transport (+1.8%), but was moderated by railway transport (-4.3%) and urban transit (-2.8%).
At the commodity level, the greatest contributors were specialized industrial equipment (+2.5%), special purpose furniture (+6.9%), aircraft modifications and conversions (+2.9%), aircrafts (+2.0%) and packaging (+2.4%). However, these increases were dampened by the drop in locomotive, cars and tenders (-5.9%), and trucks (-0.7%). The specialized industrial equipment was led mainly by the jump of domestic prices of chemicals and petroleum industries (+10.7%) and by imported prices of primary metals (+6.1%).
The rise in the quarterly Index is the consequence of the strengthening of the U.S. dollar versus the Canadian dollar (+0.5%), along with the indirect effect of stronger international prices for petroleum and minerals. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2004, raw materials, non-ferrous minerals and oil minerals increased 3.4%, 6.7% and 6.4% respectively; in 2004 these commodities had annual increases of 11.7%, 27.8% and 21.8%.