OTTAWA (Reuters) - More Canadian manufacturers expect their output to decline in the first quarter compared with the previous quarter, resulting in the most pessimistic outlook on production since 2002, a Statistics Canada survey showed on Tuesday.
Thirty-three percent of the 3,000 companies participating in the quarterly survey saw production volumes declining in the next three months, up from 24 percent in the previous quarter. The number expecting higher output fell to 19 percent from 24 percent.
The balance of opinion -- the difference between the two percentages -- therefore fell by 14 points.
Manufacturers’ outlook on hiring also worsened in the quarter. But their satisfaction with new orders, unfilled orders and inventories improved and fewer companies reported production difficulties.
Reporting by Louise Egan