Profitability index edges up 0.2% in August

Conference Board of Canada index shows automotive manufacturers put in a strong performance.

September 11, 2012   by PLANT STAFF

OTTAWA — Profitability showed a 0.2% rise in August and several manufacturing industries proved to be among the strong performers, according to the Conference Board of Canada’s Leading Indicator of Industry.

Despite the modest rise, the Ottawa-based research firm notes that’s the indicator’s largest gain since March 2011. At 103.2, the index is now where it was back in October 2011.

“Modest economic growth at home and a myriad of risks related to events abroad have kept corporate profitability from gaining any ground over the past year, and that trend is expected to continue for at least the next few months,” says the Conference Board ion a release.

Several manufacturing industries show positive profitability, including automotive and other transportation equipment, which have experienced significant gains.

One of the worst performers is computer and electronic product manufacturing, which saw its index fall in 10 of the past 12 months, leaving it at its lowest level in three years.

The telecommunications industry’s profitability index fell for the third consecutive month in August, falling to its lowest reading in over a year.

Not surprising, the banking industry has posted 35 consecutive monthly gains in its profitability index, dating back to September 2009, demonstrating a definitive recovery from the 2008-2009 recession.

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