Plastics manufacturers among leaders in utilization of industrial capacity
Canadian manufacturers utilized much more of their industrial capacity in the fourth quarter of 2003 -- and those m...
Canadian manufacturers utilized much more of their industrial capacity in the fourth quarter of 2003 — and those manufacturing plastics products helped lead the way, Statistics Canada reports.
The manufacturing sector as a whole took one of its biggest jumps in a decade, surging ahead to 82.9 per cent for the final three months 2003, compared to the 81.3 per cent reported in the previous quarter. Plastics manufacturers, however, saw their industrial capacity utilization reach 92.4 per cent, up 2.7 per cent over the third quarter of the year.
Of the21manufacturing groups that are tracked,16posted increases, and six of them saw rates that surpassed90 per cent.
The next report may show better numbers yet, since manufacturers questioned for Statistics Canada’s 2004 Business Conditions Survey indicated that they planned to increase production during 2004.
The last time Canada saw the rate of industrial capacity utilization increase by 1.6 per cent in a single quarter was in 1994, when the figure reached 82.4 per cent. However, the latest numbers still fell short of the most recent high of 85.4 per cent reached in the final quarter of 1999.
Despite the strong quarter, the average annual rate for 2003 was still down slightly from the 82.3 per cent posted in 2002, at 82 per cent, because of the economic impact of everything from SARS and mad cow scares to a power blackout in mid-August.