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Manufacturing shipments up for sixth consecutive month

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Carriers hauling manufacturing shipments have much to smile about.


OTTAWA, Ont. — Carriers hauling manufacturing shipments have much to smile about.

Canadian manufacturers chalked up their sixth consecutive increase in shipments, rising 1.1% to $49.1 billion in May, Statistics Canada reported today.

"A robust global economy, coupled with the recent surge in prices for some of Canada’s resource-based industries, has generated a momentum in the Canadian manufacturing sector not seen since the economic boom of the late 1990s. During the first five months of 2004, with the trend on a healthy upswing, shipments rose 4.1% compared to the same period in 2003," Statistics Canada comments in its Daily Bulletin.

Shipments increased in 13 of the 21 manufacturing industries in May, representing 60% of total shipments. Non-durable goods industries jumped by 2.6% to $21.2 billion, boosted by the price-inflated petroleum industry. Durable goods manufacturing was essentially unchanged at $27.9 billion (+0.1%).

Ontario and British Columbia led the eight provinces reporting higher output in May. Ontario’s manufacturers posted a fourth straight increase as shipments rose by $458 million (+1.8%) to reach $25.7 billion. Petroleum and motor vehicle manufacturing were the primary contributors.

Strong demand and increasing prices for British Columbia’s forestry-related industries anchored healthy gains in May among the province’s manufacturers. Shipments were up $134 million (+3.9%) to $3.5 billion, led by significant increases in the shipments of paper and wood products industries

Partly offsetting Canada’s overall increase in May’s shipments, manufacturing in Quebec and Alberta slowed down somewhat, following periods of extended expansion. Shipments in Quebec fell by $161 million (-1.4%) to $11.4 billion. Alberta reported their first shipment decline in 10 months (-$86 million, -2.0%); as well, the Territories decreased by $2 million (-22.6%) compared with April.


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