INDUSTRY PULSE: Finished product inventories on the rise

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Inventories of finished products continued to accumulate in February, an indication some manufacturers may be having difficulty moving their goods, Statistics Canada records released today indicate.

Finished product inventories, which had risen in 10 of the previous 11 months, increased another 0.8% in February to $22.2 billion. This followed solid gains in December (+1.6%) and January (+1.2%). In February, finished products stood 9.5% above levels of one year ago.

Much of the rise in finished product inventories in February was concentrated in the durable goods sector (+1.2%), led by the aerospace and fabricated metal products industries.

Goods-in-process inventories were up 0.7% to $14.4 billion, the fourth increase in a row. Meanwhile, inventories of raw materials were largely unchanged at $27.6 billion in February, following a boost in January (+1.5%).

Total inventories, which have been on an upward trend since early 2004, continued to accumulate in February. Inventories rose another 0.4% to $64.2 billion, the 14th increase in a row, and the highest level since November 2001. The petroleum and aerospace industries were the big movers in February.

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