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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's industrial capacity rose to its highest level since 2007 in the first quarter, lifted by the manufacturing and construction sectors, data from Statistics Canada showed on Friday.
Capacity utilization rose to 83.3 percent in the first three months of the year from a downwardly revised 81.8 percent in the fourth quarter. It was the highest level since the third quarter of 2007.
Manufacturing drove the increase as it operated at 83.4 percent of its capacity. The utilization rate rose in 15 out of 21 of the main manufacturing industries, accounting for about 80 percent of the sector's gross domestic product.
The capacity utilization rate in the construction sector rose to 86.6 percent due to residential construction and repairs. It was only the second time in nine quarters that the sector's capacity rate has increased.
In the oil and gas extraction sector, capacity utilization slipped to 80.8 percent. A lower volume of oil extraction offset increased activity in the industry.
Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama