March 9, 2018 / 1:40 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Canadian 4th-qtr capacity utilization rate hits 10-year high

(Adds details of release, background)

OTTAWA, March 9 (Reuters) - Canadian industrial capacity recorded its sixth consecutive gain in the fourth quarter to hit a 10-year high, pushed up in part by oil and gas extraction and construction, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Capacity utilization rose to 86.0 percent, the most since the 86.0 percent posted in the second quarter of 2007. Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a rate of 85.2 percent.

The construction rate rose to 91.0 percent from 89.5 percent in the third quarter on general strength in the sector while oil and gas extraction increased to 83.0 percent from 81.5 percent on higher volumes of oil.

Capacity in the manufacturing sector rose to 86.1 percent, the highest for 17 years. Motor vehicle production recovered after a weak third quarter that included longer than usual maintenance shutdowns in assembly plants.

For 2017 as a whole the average capacity utilization rate for Canadian industries rose by 4.4 percentage points to 84.6 percent on stronger oil and gas extraction after slipping 0.3 percentage points in 2016.

Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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