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Canadian Economic Indicator Shows Gains
Dec 16, 2003
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Canada's composite leading index, an early measurement of how the economy is performing, jumped by 0.8 percent in November after a gains of 0.7 per cent in October and 0.8 percent in September, Statistics Canada reported.

"These were the best three months of growth since early in 2002," the agency said.

Business spending led growth and only one of 10 components surveyed by the agency declined.

"Business spending in Canada posted its largest and most widespread gains in several months," the agency said. "Led by investment goods, new orders rose for the second time in 3 months, and the 2-percent advance allowed them to recoup a large part of the ground lost earlier this year."

According to Statistics Canada, the ratio of shipments to finished goods inventories increased for the first time in 14 months. "With demand rising, manufacturers ended 5 months of trimming the workweek, while employment turned up. Business services drove the upturn in services employment over the last three months," it said.

The housing index, which retreated slightly from its 30-year high, was the only one of 10 components to decline.

"Furniture and appliance sales spearheaded household spending with a third straight gain of over 1 percent. Sales of other durable goods posted a sixth straight increase," the agency said, adding that the U.S. leading indicator grew steadily at 0.4 percent. (CP)

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