September 13, 2012 / 12:47 PM / in 5 years

Canadian second-quarter industrial capacity use rises

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian industry boosted its capacity utilization in the second quarter to 81.0 percent from a downwardly revised 80.5 percent in the first, with the often-struggling manufacturing sector making as much of a contribution as non-manufacturing, Statistics Canada reported on Thursday.

It was the highest level since the third quarter of 2007.

The Bank of Canada watches the data for any signs of overheating. It says the economy as a whole is operating close to capacity.

A Reuters survey of analysts had forecast an increase to 81.2 percent from an originally reported 80.7 percent. The expected 0.5-percentage-point rise proved to be accurate.

Manufacturing capacity use rose to 81.6 percent from 81.1 percent, led by transportation equipment, which includes autos and aerospace; machinery; and wood product manufacturing.

The rise in non-manufacturing use was led by the construction and oil industries. In late June, the government tightened mortgage insurance rules in order to cool down a hot housing market but any effect of this would not have been captured by second-quarter figures.

Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by James Dalgleish

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