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A Leaner, Smarter Canadian Manufacturing Sector “Rising From the Ashes”

Posted April 01, 2014

After a difficult decade that saw the number of Canadian manufacturing firms fall by 20 percent and the sector’s share of GDP drop to 12 percent, a report from CIBC World Markets released today finds that many industries are ready to reverse that trend and outperform in the coming years.
“A different manufacturing sector is rising from the ashes,” says Benjamin Tal, Deputy Chief Economist at CIBC. “Though some failed to survive, many who did are stronger, leaner and more productive. The long and painful adjustment is starting to pay off, with many industries better positioned to take advantage of the weaker dollar to regain positions in U.S. markets and to better integrate into global supply chain opportunities.”

The report, co-authored by Mr. Tal and CIBC Economist, Nick Exarhos, notes that Canadian manufacturing has seen dramatic ups and downs over the past 25 years. Among industries that have adapted and survived — and are now poised to increase their performance in the years ahead — are wood products, machinery, aerospace, and computer and electronics, along with plastics and rubber, and paper products.  Missing from the list is food manufacturing, which has not taken advantage of the downturn to improve productivity in the same way.

Click here to download the complete report.