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INDUSTRY PULSE: Most Canadian industries escape volatility in shipment volumes

OTTAWA, Ont. -- While shipments in the motor vehicle manufacturing sector continue to be volatile with monthly swin...

OTTAWA, Ont. — While shipments in the motor vehicle manufacturing sector continue to be volatile with monthly swings, most Canadian industries did show shipment growth in November.

Shipments of motor vehicles fell 5.1% to $5.9 billion in November, Statistics Canada records show. Recent volatility in the auto sector has made 2005 motor vehicle manufacturing unpredictable.

“Soaring gas prices, intense competition from foreign automakers and fickle consumer demand, in addition to retail incentives which seem to drive the sales of some models, have all contributed to some significant monthly fluctuations in motor vehicle production,” Statistics Canada commented in its Daily Bulletin.

November’s decline in motor vehicle manufacturing largely offset a surge in shipments in October (+8.0%), which was partly driven by the rush to supply showrooms with 2006 models. The trend for motor vehicle shipments has weakened significantly in recent months.

Other industries reporting decreases in November included chemical products (-6.5%) and motor vehicle parts (-5.7%) manufacturing. Partly counterbalancing the overall decrease, shipments of primary metals surged 7.0% to $4.1 billion, due to strong global demand and rising industrial prices for primary metal products.

Overall, only 8 of the 21 manufacturing industries reported lower shipments in November, but among the 8 were some of the largest, accounting for 50.6% of the total.

Lower petroleum prices weakened shipments of non-durable goods by 2.9% to $22.3 billion. Meanwhile, big-ticket, durable goods manufacturers reported a 0.4% decline in shipments to $29.1 billion, the sixth decrease in 2005.

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