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Manufacturers’ output down, expected to last months yet: CME

Half of survey respondents say production is down between 25% and 50%, more than 50% for a quarter of companies.

May 27, 2020   by CP STAFF

TORONTO — A survey of Canadian manufacturers shows a widespread drop in output as demand falls during the COVID-19 pandemic with no quick rebound in sight.

The survey by Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) found that two-thirds of respondents have seen production drop below normal and about the same expect lower output to last at least the next three to six months.

A quarter of the 320 manufacturers who responded to the May survey said output is down more than 50%, while half of manufacturers said it was down between 25% and 50%.

Manufacturers in the Prairies reported being the most affected, with 75% of operators seeing a drop in Saskatchewan and 72% in Manitoba, while Ontario saw a 71% drop and British Columbia was down 53% below normal.

Food and beverage manufacturers fared the best with 29% of producers reporting higher output than normal output and 45% reporting that it has dropped, while the transportation equipment sector was most affected with 80% reporting a drop in activity.

As uncertainty remains about the pandemic and the economy, most manufacturers don’t expect to be hiring in the next three to four months, including 43% of respondents who expect staffing levels to drop in the months ahead.

“Even though we are seeing signs that the economy is restarting across the country, recovery is still far away,” said Dennis Darby, president of the association, in a statement.


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