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INDUSTRY PULSE: Machinery and equipment sector imports stabilize after four months of gains

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Imports of machinery and equipment remained stable at $9.0 billion in April, halting four consecuti...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Imports of machinery and equipment remained stable at $9.0 billion in April, halting four consecutive months of gains. Growth during this period was driven by increases in industrial and agricultural machinery and in aircraft and other transportation, Statistics Canada reports.

While industrial and agricultural machinery imports slowed in April, imports of aircraft and other transportation accelerated. Imports of office machines and equipment also increased (+3.2%).

Imports of automobile parts jumped 8.4% to $3.2 billion in April, a partial recovery after declining 11.4% over the first three months of 2005.

Imports of agricultural and fishing products rose 2.4% to $1.8 billion, which was less than $100 million below the record high set in August 2002. Leading the increase were imports of sugar and sugar preparations (+28.5%) and fresh fruits and berries (+6.9%).

Imports of industrial goods and materials fell 3.7%. Metal and metal ore imports were the main contributor to the drop, down to $2.0 billion from a record high of $2.4 billion in March.

Imports of energy products, which include crude petroleum and other energy products, dropped 8.1% to $2.3 billion. Each component fell by about $100 million.

Imports of consumer products decreased 3.3% to $4.0 billion, with pharmaceutical imports leading the decline after a strong March. After hitting a record high of $660.7 million in February, apparel imports fell 2.8% in April, following a 0.2% decline in March.

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