INDUSTRY PULSE: Shipments drop for first time in nine months

OTTAWA, Ont. — Following a nine-month climb, shipments retreated 0.6% to $50.4 billion in September, as a marked decline in the aerospace industry weakened production, according to Statistics Canada’s monthly report.

Excluding the aerospace industry, however, shipments remained comparable with August’s level.

"The manufacturing sector has done well in 2004 as September’s decrease in shipments was only the first since November 2003. Healthy demand from abroad has driven durable goods manufacturing through much of the year and coupled with soaring industrial prices for many of Canada’s rich, resource-based industries, shipments have been at record levels in recent months," Statistics Canada notes in its Daily Bulletin.

Although only 11 of the 21 manufacturing industries reported decreases in September, these industries accounted for 70% of total shipments. On a provincial basis, Ontario (-0.3%), Quebec (-1.7%) and Saskatchewan (-4.8%) led the six provinces reporting declines for the month.

Shipments measured in constant dollars slipped 0.3% in September, the first decline since May.

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