Manufacturers continue to clear out inventories

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In December, inventories closed the year at $59.8 billion, down 0.3% from November, Statistics Canada reports.

Manufacturers’ inventories have been in a gradual decline since last spring, falling 6.4% since their recent high of $63.9 billion in April.

Inventories of raw materials, which have been on a steady decline throughout 2003, were essentially unchanged at $25.9 billion in December, the lowest level in just over four years. Meanwhile, decreases were reported in both goods-in-process (-1.0%) and finished-product (-0.2%) inventories.

Finished-products ($18.9 billion) continued their downward trek, and following eight consecutive declines, they are at the lowest level since August 2002.

Decreases in inventories of aerospace products and parts (-1.7%) and primary metals (-1.2%) offset a 2.2% gain in the chemical products industry.

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