OTTAWA—Expanding industrial activity and development of new markets and innovative products are improving the prospects of Canadian manufacturers in chemicals, non-metallic mineral products and plastics and rubber products.
These three sectors are set for growth, according to data released today from the Canadian Industrial Profile-Winter 2012 published by The Conference Board of Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).
“What we are seeing with BDC clients in these manufacturing sectors corroborates the conclusions of the industrial profiles: companies are in better financial health today than they were two years ago. Also, a high percentage of new BDC loans to these companies [went to] increasing production capacity and improving productivity,” said Pierre Cleroux, vice-president, Economic Analysis, at BDC.
Cleroux says market opportunities exist and the performance of companies in the manufacturing sector will depend on their leaders’ ability to identify and take advantage of these opportunities.
“Because of the prevailing global competition, it is crucial for entrepreneurs to continue their efforts to offer innovative products, find new markets and introduce ways of improving their productivity,” he says.
Indeed, the output from these three sectors often supplies manufacturers in other sectors and markets, which bodes well for these three industries in particular.
But it’s never a sure thing.
“However, with the Canadian dollar at parity, manufacturers will need to be innovative with their product offerings and where they are selling if they are to fully benefit from improving market conditions,” said Michael Burt, director of industrial economic trends at The Conference Board of Canada.
Part of The Conference Board of Canada’s Industrial Economic Trends research, The Canadian Industrial Profile Service provides a five-year (2011-2015) production, revenue, cost and profitability forecast for six industries each quarter. In all, outlooks for 23 industries are completed each year.
BDC has almost 1,900 employees and more than 100 business centres across the country and provides financing, subordinate financing, venture capital and consulting services to 29,000 small and medium-sized companies.