Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

December 18, 2008 12:32 ET

Manufacturers Prepare for Dramatic Drop in Sales-CME Business Conditions Survey Urgent Action Required to Ensure Liquidity

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2008) - Canadian manufacturers and exporters are experiencing a sharp contraction in customer demand that is likely to continue to into the first quarter of 2009, according to the latest Business Conditions Survey conducted by CME.

"The message we are hearing from manufacturers and exporters across the country is that 'we ain't seen nothing yet,'" says CME President Jayson Myers. "New orders are down sharply in most manufacturing and exporting sectors as a result of the credit market meltdown we have seen in the United States. Now it is becoming more difficult to access financing in Canada as well. Our members tell us that there are more production closures and job losses to come. We need urgent action to ensure financing continues to flow to creditworthy businesses if we are to avoid an industrial meltdown that would take Canada into deep recession."

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters surveyed its members, as well as the members of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, between December 9th and 16th. A total of 327 companies with operations in all provinces of Canada participated in the survey. It is the first of a monthly series of business conditions surveys that CME will conduct across Canada's manufacturing and exporting sectors to provide real-time feedback from businesses at the front line of the economic storm.

Highlights from the December survey include:

- 59% of companies report that orders have fallen in value since September, 27% say that orders are about the same as in September, while only 14% of firms report that orders have increased. A full 17% of companies report that orders have fallen by more than 30% since September.

- A majority of manufacturers and exporters also expect that the value of new orders to fall over the next three months - 52 % say that orders are likely to decrease between December 2008 and March 2009.

- 38% of companies say that employment levels are likely to fall over the next three months.

- More than one-third of manufacturers and exporters report that they are experiencing difficulties accessing adequate levels of financing. Working capital and financing for capital investments and acquisitions are relatively more difficult to obtain than other forms of credit.

"The situation for Canadian industry and the Canadian economy is very serious. 2009 will be an extremely challenging year. Addressing immediate liquidity problems must be the top priority for governments - other economic measures and policy initiatives will be academic if companies have closed their doors."

"CME is taking a leading role in providing policy makers with current information on business conditions affecting Canada's critical manufacturing and exporting sectors, and advising governments on ways to alleviate liquidity problems. A variety of measures are likely going to be required, including backstop loans, bridge financing, loan guarantees and direct investments in innovation and international capital projects."

The report is available at the following address: http://www.cmememberservices.ca/_uploads/_media/pdfs/cme_business_conditions_report_dec_08.pdf.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada's leading trade and industry association and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

The association directly represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. More than 85% of CME's members are small and medium-sized enterprises. As Canada's leading business network, CME, through various initiatives including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition, touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82% of total manufacturing production and 90% of Canada's exports.

Contact Information

  • CME
    Jeff Brownlee
    VP of Public Affairs
    613-238-8888 ext. 4233