Canadian industries operated at 83.6 percent of their production capacity in the fourth quarter, up slightly from 83.2 percent in the previous quarter, according to the latest report from Statistics Canada. Mining and quarrying and oil and gas extraction industries as well as manufacturing industries were the main sources of the gain in the fourth quarter.
Oil and gas extraction was mainly responsible for the advance in the fourth quarter. The capacity utilization rate of oil and gas extraction rose 1.8 percentage points to 88.8 percent in the fourth quarter, as a result of higher volumes of oil and gas extraction.
The electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry posted a 1.7 percentage point gain to 85.4 percent in the fourth quarter, reflecting higher demand for electricity.
Capacity utilization in the construction industry rose for the third straight quarter, going from 84.8 percent to 85 percent as a result of increased activity in residential building construction.
The capacity utilization rate in forestry and logging fell 3.8 percentage points to 78.4 percent in the fourth quarter, on account of reduced activity in the industry.
The manufacturing sector operated at 83.7 percent of its capacity in the fourth quarter, up 0.3 percentage point from the previous quarter. The machinery manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing industries were primarily responsible for this increase.
The capacity utilization rate rose in 10 of the 21 major manufacturing groups, accounting for about 70 percent of the manufacturing sector's gross domestic product.
Capacity utilization in the machinery manufacturing industry rose 1.6 percentage points to 83.2 percent in the fourth quarter. Increased production in industrial machinery manufacturing was the main reason for this increase. Higher production of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts was the main source of the increase in the capacity utilization rate in the transportation equipment industry. The rate rose from 93.4 percent in the third quarter to 94.1 percent in the fourth quarter.
For the full-year 2014, the average capacity utilization rate of Canadian industries rose 1.6 percentage points to 82.8 percent, after edging down 0.3 percent in 2013. Compared with 2013, the industries with the largest percentage-point gains in capacity use in 2014 were textile mills, textile product mills, wood product manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing. The biggest declines were in forestry and logging as well as electric utilities.