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Industrial capacity utilization rates, third quarter 2013

Released: 2013-12-12

Canadian industries operated at 81.7% of their production capacity in the third quarter, up from 81.1% in the second quarter. The oil and gas extraction and manufacturing industries were the main sources of this increase.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in the industrial capacity utilization rate, third quarter 2013 - Description and data table
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in the industrial capacity utilization rate, third quarter 2013

Chart 1: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in the industrial capacity utilization rate, third quarter 2013 - Description and data table

Non-manufacturing industries: The oil and gas extraction industry leads the increase in capacity use

The oil and gas extraction industry contributed the most to the overall growth in capacity utilization in the third quarter. It accounted for more than half of the 0.6 percentage-point increase.

Higher crude petroleum extraction was primarily responsible for pushing the oil and gas extraction industry's capacity utilization rate up 2.4 percentage points to 87.5%.

Capacity use in the construction industry edged up 0.1 percentage points, following three consecutive quarters of decline. This advance was largely attributable to increased activity in non-residential construction.

Among non-manufacturing industries, only the mining and quarrying industry had a lower capacity utilization rate compared with the previous quarter. Its capacity use declined to 62.9%, the second consecutive quarterly decrease. A decline in metallic and non-metallic mineral production more than offset an increase in coal extraction.

Rebound in capacity use in the primary metals industry

The manufacturing sector operated at 80.5% of its capacity in the third quarter, up 0.6 percentage points from the second quarter.

The main contributors to the increase were the primary metals industry, the food manufacturing industry and the transportation equipment manufacturing industry. Of the 21 major groups in the manufacturing sector, 14 increased their capacity utilization.

Capacity use was down in six industries, notably the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Manufacturing capacity utilization more vigorous - Description and data table
Manufacturing capacity utilization more vigorous

Chart 2: Manufacturing capacity utilization more vigorous - Description and data table

An increase in the production and processing of non-ferrous metals other than aluminum was the main source of a 2.4 percentage-point rebound in capacity use in the primary metals industry, which had fallen 5.1 percentage points in the second quarter. The capacity utilization rate was 76.8% in the third quarter.

Food manufacturer's capacity use returned to its first-quarter level (75.0%), after declining 1.1 percentage points in the second quarter. Increased production in other subgroups of this industry more than offset the diminished activity in the fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing industry.

Higher production of aerospace products and parts was the main source of an increase in capacity use in the transportation equipment industry. The rate increased from 87.4% in the second quarter to 88.3% in the third quarter.

In the computer and electronic product manufacturing industry, capacity utilization fell 3.3 percentage points to 79.9% in the third quarter. This decrease was attributable to a decline in all types of production except computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing.

  Note to readers

The industrial capacity utilization rate is the ratio of an industry's actual output to its estimated potential output. For most industries, the annual estimates are obtained from the Capital and Repair Expenditures Survey while the quarterly pattern is derived from output-to-capital ratio series, the output being the real gross domestic product at basic prices, seasonally adjusted, by industry.

This program covers all manufacturing and selected non-manufacturing industries.

At the time of this release, data were revised back to the first quarter of 2007 to reflect updated source data.

Data on industrial capacity utilization rates for the fourth quarter will be released on March 13, 2014.

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

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