Shipments from Canadian factories slipped 0.8 percent in May as manufacturers felt the
impact of lower U.S. demand, a SARS outbreak as well as a case of mad cow disease, Statistics Canada said. "Coupled with the appreciating value of the Canadian dollar and the ongoing weak state of the U.S. economy, these factors
will continue to test the strength of Canadian manufacturers and the economy as a whole in the months to come," Statscan said in its daily bulletin.
Unfilled orders fell by 3.4 percent -- the ninth
consecutive month of declines -- to C$40.5 billion, their lowest level since June 1998. Inventories dropped by 0.5 percent, new
orders fell by 2.5 percent while the inventory-to-shipment level stayed at 1.49. The primary metals industry was the principal contributor to
the lower shipments in May, falling by 3.5 percent on dropping U.S. demand and lower industrial prices.
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