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Canadian first-quarter capacity utilization at lowest in more than three years

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian industrial capacity use dropped to 80.9% in the first quarter, the lowest in more than three years, on weakness in the mining, quarrying and oil extraction sector, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast industries would run at 81.0%, down from the revised 81.8% in the fourth quarter.

(graphic: tmsnrt.rs/2e8hNWV)

The first quarter use - which marked the third consecutive quarterly decline - was the lowest since the 80.7% seen in the third quarter of 2015.

Capacity use in the mining, quarrying and oil extraction sector dropped to 79.6% from 81.9%, in part due to temporary output limits on oil sands extraction imposed by the government of energy-rich Alberta.

The manufacturing sector’s capacity utilization rate fell to 78.2% from 79.1% on a decline in durable goods output.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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