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 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 per cent, while half of manufacturers said it was down between 25 and 50 per cent.
Manufacturers in the Prairies reported being the most affected, with 75 per cent of operators seeing a drop in Saskatchewan and 72 per cent in Manitoba, while Ontario saw a 71 per cent drop and British Columbia was down 53 per cent below normal.
Food and beverage manufacturers fared the best with 29 per cent of producers reporting higher output than normal output and 45 per cent reporting that it has dropped, while the transportation equipment sector was most affected with 80 per cent 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 per cent 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.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 26, 2020.
The Canadian Press