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INDUSTRY PULSE: Shipments weaken again in October

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Manufacturing shipments dropped 1.3% to $49.8 billion in October, following September's 0.7% declin...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Manufacturing shipments dropped 1.3% to $49.8 billion in October, following September’s 0.7% decline.

Shipments have now weakened 2.0% from the record level posted in August ($50.8 billion), according to Statistics Canada records.

Although the recent declines have eroded some of the gains reported earlier in 2004, January-to-October shipments remain 8.0% higher compared with the same period last year. Shipments measured in constant dollars also declined for the second successive month in October, falling 0.5% to $46.5 billion.

Ontario reported the largest drop among the six provinces with lower shipments in October. In Ontario, the centre of motor vehicle manufacturing in Canada, shipments slumped $709 million (-2.6%) to $26.0 billion, as both the automobile and parts industries slowed. Shipments in British Columbia declined $84 million (-2.3%) to $3.6 billion, primarily due to the wood and paper products industries. In Saskatchewan, manufacturers of wood and chemical products contributed to a $34 million (-3.9%) decrease in shipments. Following gains in the aerospace products and parts and the petroleum and coal products industries, Quebec manufacturers reported a $130 million (+1.1%) increase in shipments to $11.4 billion, offsetting some of the overall drop.

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