Industry capacity use increase levels off: Statistics Canada

Fourth quarter rate of 76.4 per cent lower than forecast by economists

(Reuters) — Canada's industrial capacity use in the fourth quarter rose slightly, for the sixth consecutive quarter, but from a downwardly revised third quarter, Statistics Canada said on Monday.

The 76.4 per cent fourth quarter rate was lower than the 79 per cent forecast by economists in a Reuters survey.

Statistics Canada changed its third quarter calculation to 76.2 per cent from 78.1 per cent initially as part of a major revision of its data. The figures show the steady increases that started in the third quarter of 2009 now leveling off. The revision put second quarter use at 75.8 per cent, down from 76.9 per cent.

The statistic is one measure of whether inflationary pressures are building. In the two decades before 2008, the capacity use rate had been between 80 and 90 per cent. For 2010 as a whole, the rate rose to 75.8 per cent from a trough of 71.3 per cent in 2009 — the heart of the recession.

Capacity use by manufacturers edged down to 76.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from 76.8 per cent; 11 of 21 manufacturing sectors rose. Among non-manufacturing industries, oil and gas rose to 83.9 per cent from 81.4 per cent.

Latest stories