INDUSTRY PULSE: Manufacturers increasingly comfortable with inventory levels

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OTTAWA, Ont. — Manufacturing represents a key customer base for Canadian carriers and the latest data paints an optimistic picture for future growth.

Manufacturers’ outlook for the third quarter of 2004 is more upbeat than the previous quarter, Statistics Canada’s latest economy-wide survey released this morning indicates.

In July, 23% of manufacturers stated they would increase production in the third quarter of 2004, while 13% expected to decrease production. Led by producers in the transportation equipment and primary metals industries, 16 of the 21 manufacturing industries continued to indicate production increases.

The July survey also found manufacturers increasingly comfortable with their higher inventory levels. According to the survey, 79% of manufacturers say the current level of finished product inventories is about right, a seven percentage point increase from April. Some 14% stated that inventories were too high and 6% said inventories were too low.

According to Statistics Canada’s Monthly Survey of Manufacturing, finished products shifted up by 1.3% to $20.5 billion, the highest level since last summer.

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