Canadian Capacity Utilization Rates Up in 1Q

Mining, quarrying, and oil & gas extraction industries were the main source of increase.

Canadian industries increased their production capacity by 0.5 percentage points in the first quarter to 81.4 percent, according to Statistics Canada. The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries were the main source of this increase.

Oil and gas extraction was primarily responsible for the increase in the capacity utilization rate in the first quarter.

Following a decline in the previous quarter, the capacity utilization rate for oil and gas extraction rose 1.7 percentage points to 79 percent in the first quarter, due to higher volumes of oil and gas extraction.

As a result of increased production, capacity use in electric power generation, transmission and distribution was up for the first time in four quarters, rising from 80.9 percent to 82.5 percent.

The capacity utilization rate in forestry and logging fell from 91.7 percent to 88 percent in the first quarter, the third consecutive quarterly decline. The decrease was attributable to weakened activity in the industry.

Manufacturing as a whole operated at 83.2 percent of its capacity in the first quarter, edging up 0.2 percentage points from the previous quarter. Food manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing were the main sources of the increase.

In the first quarter, capacity utilization rates rose in 11 of the 21 major groups in the manufacturing sector, accounting for approximately 60 percent of the sector's gross domestic product.

Following a decline in the previous quarter, the capacity utilization rate of food manufacturing rose 1.7 percentage points from 80.9 percent to 82.6 percent. Increased production in most food manufacturing subsectors led to the gain.

The capacity utilization rate of transportation equipment manufacturing was up 1.5 percentage points in the first quarter to 94.8 percent, the fourth consecutive increase. A sharp rise in the production of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts was the main reason for the growth.

The overall increase in the manufacturing sector was moderated by declines, notably in metal products manufacturing and machinery manufacturing.

The capacity utilization rate of the metal products manufacturing industry fell 3.4 percentage points to 77.2 percent in the first quarter. The decline was the result of decreased production in most of the industry's subsectors.

Capacity use in the machinery manufacturing industry (73.4 percent) declined for a fourth straight quarter. Lower production in most of the industry's subsectors led to the decrease in the first quarter.

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