September 20, 2011 / 12:47 PM / 6 years ago

Canada leading indicator flat in August

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s composite leading indicator was flat in August as lower home resales and stock prices offset strength in retail trade and new factory orders, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

August was the third consecutive month the index was flat or nearly flat. The July number was revised down to a 0.1 percent gain from 0.2 percent previously, and the June index was flat.

The housing component fell 0.7 percent in August, mostly due to lower existing home sales, and stock prices slid 2 percent, Statscan said.

On the retail side, spending on durable goods rose by 1.6 percent, the biggest jump seen during the recovery. Sales of furniture and appliances climbed 1.1 percent.

The manufacturing sector appeared not to have fully recovered from supply disruptions caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. New orders rose 3.4 percent but the ratio of shipments to inventory edged lower and the average work week fell.

The index is used as a predictor of future economic trends. The unsmoothed index, reflecting raw data, was up 0.6 percent.

Reporting by Louise Egan and Howaida Sorour; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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