OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's industrial capacity use in the first quarter dropped to 82.7 percent from 83.5 percent the previous quarter, dragged down in part by weaker manufacturing, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Analysts had forecast a capacity rate of 83.0 percent. The decline was the largest since the second quarter of 2009, when capacity fell to 71.6 percent from 73.0 percent.
Manufacturing industries operated at 82.9 percent of capacity in the first quarter, down 0.8 percentage points on a decline in the output of durable goods.
The capacity utilization rate fell in 12 of the 21 major manufacturing groups, making up about 70 percent of the sector's gross domestic product.
The rate for mining and quarrying plunged to 60.9 percent from 66.7 percent on a significant decline in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction. A slump in crude prices is crimping Canada's energy sector.
Reporting by David Ljunggren Editintg by W Simon