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August brings good, bad news for manufacturers

Published by Steve Coleman on September 20, 2011

Statistics Canada says August brought a mix of good and bad news for Canadian manufacturers.

While new orders were up 3.4 per cent for goods makers, the slow recovery from supply disruptions meant they didn't ship as much.

Second-quarter output in the auto, petroleum and metal refining sectors all took a hit. In August, the ratio of sales to stocks declined for a third-straight month.

Manufacturers also decided to keep more of their people off the Employment Insurance rolls and on the job during three months of supply disruptions, although staff worked shorter weeks as a result.

Even with manufacturing getting caught in limbo, Statistics Canada's composite leading index changed little for the third-straight month.

Of the 10 indicators going into the index, six continued to expand in August, making the results comparable to July.

The weakness part of the economy during the dog days of summer turned out to be the housing index and the stock market. Both dropped more than the previous month.

While the index was flat, it wasn't completely flat. Economic growth was still recorded at 0.6 per cent.

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