INDUSTRY PULSE: Energy products and consumer goods on the rise

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OTTAWA, Ont. – Rising imports of energy products and consumer goods were offset by widespread declines in automotive products and industrial goods and materials.

Energy products experienced the largest gain in November as imports jumped 5.1% to a record high $3.1 billion. Petroleum and coal products, specifically fuel for aircraft, were the driving force behind the increase, rising to a historic high of $828.9 million.

Imports of other consumer goods increased to a record high of $4.3 billion in November. Import levels for other consumer goods, which include products such as consumer electronics, sports equipment and toys, printed matter, and apparel and footwear, have been very strong throughout 2005, with monthly values all above $4.0 billion for the first year ever.

Prices for these goods have been falling, particularly as a result of the appreciating dollar. Constant dollar imports of consumer goods have jumped from $41.0 billion in 2002 to $44.6 billion in 2003 to $48.4 billion in 2004. With one month left in 2005, constant dollar imports are standing at $47.7 billion.

Imports of machinery and equipment edged down in November to $9.4 billion. However, these imports during 2005 climbed from $8.8 billion in January to $9.4 billion in June and have hovered between $9.3 billion and $9.5 billion in the months following.

Imports of motor vehicle parts dropped 4.5%. Imports in two sub-groups fell for the second month in a row, with declines of 4.1% for passenger autos and chassis and 2.3% for trucks and other motor vehicles.

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