Inventory levels rise for the first time since July

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OTTAWA, Ont. — In November, manufacturers reported total inventory levels increased by 0.5%, the first gain in four months, according to Statistics Canada.

The increase in November was widespread, as raw materials (+0.3%), goods and work in process (+0.6%), and finished product inventories (+0.7%) all increased.

The value of inventories increased $337 million to $65.5 billion in November. Despite the increase, inventory levels have been trending downwards since October 2006. Prior to the recent downward trend, inventory levels increased from 2004 to the end of 2006.

The key contributor to the increase in manufacturers’ inventories came from petroleum and coal products, which jumped 12.9% to $4.1 billion. This was only the second increase in the value of inventories in the last seven months.

The aerospace product and parts industry also surged, gaining 4.3% to $4.6 billion, with most of the inventory increase coming from goods and work in process.

Chemical manufacturers were one of the few industries reporting a sizeable decrease of inventories. Levels dropped 1.6% to $7.0 billion for the fourth consecutive monthly decrease.

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