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Canadian 4Q Industrial Capacity Use Rises Less Than Expected

Canadian industrial capacity use rose less than economists forecast in the fourth quarter, with gains in manufacturing coupled with a decline in forestry and logging.

The share of plant capacity in use increased to 82.0 percent, compared with a third quarter figure that was revised lower to 81.2 percent from 81.7 percent, Statistics Canada said today in Ottawa. Economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted a rate of 82.2 percent, the median of 10 estimates.

On an annual basis, plant use declined to 81.3 percent from 81.5 percent, Statistics Canada said, marking the first drop since 2009.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said the nation’s economy will rely on increased exports and business investment as it returns to full output over the next two years. Poloz has said some of the capacity lost during the global recession may not be restored.

Manufacturing capacity use rose to 80.7 percent in the fourth quarter from 79.9 percent in the third quarter. The rate for fabricated metals dropped to 77.1 percent from 79.0 percent.

Aside from factories, oil and gas extraction rose to 87.5 percent of capacity from 86.0 percent, while forestry and logging fell to 86.2 percent from 89.4 percent.

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