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INDUSTRY PULSE: Shipment volume increase widespread

OTTAWA, Ont. -- June's increase in shipment volumes was felt pretty well across the Canadian economy.

OTTAWA, Ont. — June’s increase in shipment volumes was felt pretty well across the Canadian economy.

Fifteen of the 21 industries monitored by Statistics Canada, accounting for a healthy 82% of total shipments, had more product shipped in June.

Manufacturers of motor vehicles reported a 2.7% jump in shipments to $6.2 billion. June’s increase marked the fourth consecutive rise in shipments and the highest level in almost one year. During the first six months of 2004, shipments were on par with the same period in 2003 (+0.2%).

"Despite sky-high petroleum prices, demand for Canadian-manufactured models by US consumers has remained strong, enhanced by attractive financing options and some of the best-ever buying incentives," Statistics Canada commented in its report.

In June, the aerospace products and parts industry reported production of $1.2 billion (+13.6%), regaining all that was lost in May (-11.8%). The industry has made huge strides in 2004, following a three-year slump and the recent restructuring of several airlines. Production levels from January to June are up 11.2% over the same period in 2003.

Also reporting higher shipments in June were the primary metals (+3.2%), machinery (+4.7%) and computer (+5.1%) industries.

From a regional perspective, Ontario and Quebec led the six provinces reporting higher shipments in June. Shipments in Ontario increased for the fifth month in a row, up $388 million (+1.5%) to $26.2 billion. Wide-ranging gains were reported including primary metals, petroleum and fabricated metal products.

Quebec manufacturers recovered strongly in June, following May’s first decrease in shipments (-1.6%) since November 2003. Aerospace and petroleum manufacturing contributed to a $332 million (+2.9%) rise in shipments to $11.7 billion, the sixth gain in the last seven months.

Shipments in Alberta also bounced back from a 3.5% drop in May, their first decrease in 11 months. June shipments rose by $137 million (+3.3%) to $4.3 billion as a result of the petroleum and chemical products industries. Year-to-date shipments in Alberta are 7.8% above the same period in 2003.

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