March 9, 2017 / 2:28 PM / 2 years ago

Canadian industrial capacity rises on mining, quarrying gains

Production Associates inspect cars moving along assembly line at Honda manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario March 30, 2015. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s industrial capacity rose to its highest level in two years in the fourth quarter, lifted by gains in the mining and quarrying sector and a rebound in construction, data from Statistics Canada showed on Thursday.

Capacity utilization increased to 82.2 percent in the final three months of 2016 from a downwardly revised 81.6 percent in the third quarter, its second quarterly gain in a row and the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2014.

The increase was driven by the mining and quarrying sector, where the capacity utilization rate jumped to 73.9 percent from 68.9 percent on a gain in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction. It was the largest rise since the third quarter of 2011.

Capacity utilization in the construction industry rose to 84.2 percent from 83.3 percent, ending seven consecutive quarterly declines, as the sector was boosted by residential construction and repairs.

In the manufacturing sector, firms operated at 81.7 percent of capacity, down from 81.8 percent, due to declines in durable goods industries.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Paul Simao

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