Mood of Canadian manufacturers guarded in January, more optimistic for first quarter: Survey

by Canadian Shipper

The mood among Canadian manufacturers remained guarded in January, as producers indicated some lower satisfaction with the levels of new and unfilled orders for the first quarter, Statistics Canada reported with the results of its Business Condition Survey this morning.

The voluntary survey, to which almost 4,000 manufacturers responded, requests opinions on production impediments, finished product inventory levels, new and unfilled order levels, and production and employment prospects in the coming three months.

About 54% of manufacturers indicated that production prospects for the first quarter would remain about the same, down 12 percentage points from October’s survey. With 26% indicating production would rise and 20% calling for a drop in output prospects, the balance of opinion stood at +6. This was a 6-point improvement from October’s survey.

Fifteen of the 21 major industry groupings indicated a more positive outlook for the first quarter of 2003. Producers in the transportation equipment, petroleum and coal products, and plastics and rubber products industries were the major contributors to January’s increase in the balance of opinion.

The balance of opinion is determined by subtracting the proportion of manufacturers that stated production would decrease in the coming three months from the proportion who stated production would be increasing.

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