Canadian Manufacturing

Profitability outlook trending up, but not all industries gaining

Conference Board of Canada credits improving labour market, stronger commodity prices

OTTAWA—The Conference Board of Canada’s industry profitability indicator has risen in each of the past three months and posted its largest gain since February 2011.

According to the think-tank, its Leading Indicator of Industry Profitability advanced 0.3 per cent in October, the largest gain in 20 months.

The Conference Board credits moderately improving labour market, stronger commodity prices, and gains in the stock market for the index gains, but says a significant number of industries are facing negative financial outlooks.

According to the Conference Board, of the 49 industries examined in the report, 16 posted declines in their respective indexes in October, including mining.

On a positive note, the oil extraction industry saw a healthy 1.9 per cent bump in its index in October, led by an increase in oil production.

Production of heavy crude was up 0.6 per cent for the month, according to the Conference Board, behind a 1.5 per cent jump in synthetic crude production.

The think-tank says the transportation and warehousing industry piggybacked the boost in oil production, with a rise in its profitability index of 0.2 per cent.

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