Housing drags on July leading indicator

Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:06am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The rise in Canada's composite leading indicator posted the slowest increase in a year at 0.4 percent in July from 0.7 percent in June, as the cooling housing market partially offset a comeback in manufacturing, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

Market players had predicted, on average, a gain of 0.6 percent. Statscan revised its figures for June to a gain of 0.7 percent from a previously reported gain of 1.0 percent.

Housing starts and sales have turned down after a busy period that had led some analysts to worry the market was overheating.

The housing index tumbled 4.1 percent as a result and demand for furniture and appliances also weakened.

Factories saw a 2.2 percent rise in new orders for durable goods, the sixth straight increase in demand. The ratio of shipments to sales also continued to recover, Statscan said.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)