UPDATE 1-Canada capacity use unchanged in third quarter

Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:34am EST

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* Q3 industrial capacity use 80.9 pct, same as Q2

* Manufacturing capacity use also unchanged at 81.7 pct

OTTAWA, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Canadian industries operated at 80.9 percent of their production capacity in the third quarter, unchanged from the second quarter, as higher vehicle and aerospace production was offset by weakness in most other sectors, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.

The pause in the capacity utilization rate followed four consecutive increases.

Analysts surveyed by Reuters had forecast, on average, a rate of 80.5 percent in the third quarter.

Manufacturing capacity was also unchanged at 81.7 percent. Capacity use increased in the transportation equipment industry while it fell in most other industries, Statscan said.

The Bank of Canada watches the data for signs the economy is getting closer to the point where it is generating inflationary pressures. In October, it judged the economy as a whole to be operating at roughly two-thirds of a percent below its capacity and predicted it would return to full capacity at the end of 2013.

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