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Autos and computers drive down shipments in 2003

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Carriers hauling for motor vehicle manufacturers are likely glad 2003 is over.


OTTAWA, Ont. — Carriers hauling for motor vehicle manufacturers are likely glad 2003 is over.

Motor vehicle manufacturers eported the largest decrease in shipments among all manufacturers in 2003. Motor vehicle shipments slumped 5.0% to $62.5 billion, following a robust 2002 (+5.7%), the year-end figures from Statistics Canada reveal.

Canada’s telecommunications sector continued to struggle since the industry crashed in 2001. Shipments of computer and electronic products dropped 12.9% to $18.5 billion in 2003. Just three years ago, computer shipments peaked at $37.5 billion. In the latter half of 2003, there have been signs that the telecommunications sector may be starting to recover.

Other notable decreases in 2003 included paper manufacturing (-4.4%), in part the result of falling prices, the machinery industry (-5.3%) and the aerospace products and parts industry (-8.4%).

Higher industrial prices for petroleum and chemical products partly offset an otherwise dismal year for manufacturers. Prices of petroleum and coal products soared earlier in 2003, boosting shipments 10.4% to $35.7 billion overall. Strong demand and high prices for pharmaceutical and petrochemical products contributed to a 4.8% jump in chemical products manufacturing, over the same period in 2002.


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