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Shipments down in six provinces, including the industrial heartland

OTTAWA, Ont. -- Manufacturing shipments fell in six provinces in January, including the industrial heartland of Ont...

OTTAWA, Ont. — Manufacturing shipments fell in six provinces in January, including the industrial heartland of Ontario and Quebec. However, the overall picture was mixed in Ontario and Quebec, where output fell in 11 of 21 industries in Ontario, and 12 of 21 in Quebec.

Shipments in Ontario tumbled 3.3% to $23.7 billion. More than half the decline was due to falling output in the transportation equipment sector, where shipments returned to normal levels after a $439-million gain in December. Other factors in transportation included weaker demand for trucks and falling sales in the motor vehicle parts manufacturing industry.

Ontario industries also recorded sizable decreases in output in petroleum and coal, plastics and rubber and machinery manufacturing industries.

In Quebec, shipments fell 3.7% to $11.5 billion as declines in the petroleum and coal, primary metals and the transportation equipment industries offset other gains. Shipments in the primary metals industry declined 2.8% to $1.7 billion in January, but this level was 12.5% higher than levels in January 2006. In the transportation equipment industry, shipments were off 7.3% to $1.4 billion. Again, this level was up 3.9% from January last year.

In Alberta, shipments rose 2.3% to $5.4 billion as 13 of 21 industries reported increases. The largest jump was in machinery manufacturing, mainly for oil and gas extraction, where output rose 18.6%. Other significant contributors to the increase were the chemicals and primary metals industries. These gains were offset by declines in the petroleum and coal products and the miscellaneous manufacturing industries.

In British Columbia, shipments slipped 0.4% to $3.5 billion with 12 of 21 industries reporting declines. The most significant drop was miscellaneous manufacturing, which includes such diverse industries as medical equipment and supplies, jewellery, sporting goods and office supplies; where output tumbled 29.4% to $76 million. This decline was partially offset by gains in output in the printing and paper industries and a 21.1% increase in the transportation equipment industry.

Manitoba shipments fell 1.3% to $1.3 billion as declines in the primary metals and transportation industries more than offset gains in food shipments. Saskatchewan shipments jumped 11.5% to $931 million on strong production of foodstuffs.

Shipments by manufacturers in the Atlantic provinces grew by 0.8% to $2.3 billion in January. Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick both reported significant increases.

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