Ottawa − Canadian industries operated at 83.4% of their production capacity in the third quarter of 2014, up from 82.8% in the previous quarter, according to Statistics Canada. The manufacturing and construction industries were the main sources of this increase.
More specifically, increases in capacity utilization in manufacturing, construction as well as mining and quarrying more than offset declines in electric power generation, transmission and distribution, oil and gas extraction as well as forestry and logging.
The manufacturing sector operated at 83.8% of its capacity in the third quarter, up 1.0 percentage point from the previous quarter. The food manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing industries were mainly responsible for this increase.
The capacity utilization rate rose in 15 of the 21 major manufacturing groups, accounting for about 80% of the manufacturing sector’s gross domestic product.
The capacity utilization rate was down in six industries, led by paper manufacturing.
Higher output in every food manufacturing subsector except fruit and vegetable preserving was responsible for a 2.2 percentage-point increase in the industry’s capacity utilization rate. The rate was 80.5% in the third quarter, its highest level since the fourth quarter of 2011.
Higher production of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts was the main source of an increase in the capacity utilization rate in the transportation equipment industry. The rate rose from 94.2% in the second quarter to 95.6% in the third quarter.
Machinery manufacturing falls
In the machinery manufacturing industry, capacity use fell 1.5 percentage points to 80.7% in the third quarter. This decline was attributable to lower production of all types of machinery except agricultural and industrial machinery.
Increases in capacity utilization in construction as well as mining and quarrying more than offset declines in the other non-manufacturing industries.
For a second consecutive quarter, capacity use in construction was up, rising from 84.1% to 84.9%. With the exception of engineering construction, all construction subsectors made positive contributions to this increase.
In the mining and quarrying industry, the rate rose 1.8 percentage points to 69.3% in the third quarter. Most subsectors in this industry contributed to the increase.