By Akhil Shah

OTTAWA (MNI) After anemic growth in the past three months,
Canada’s composite leading index stalled in August, Statistics Canada
reported Tuesday.

Expansion was noted in 6 of the 10 components, with new orders
leading the way. Weakness remained concentrated in the stock market and
housing index as both extended losses from the previous month.

The housing index declined 0.7% in August with bulk of the decrease
stemming from lower existing home sales, the agency reported. Following
a recovery over the past five months, housing starts leveled off in

New orders in the manufacturing sector climbed 3.4% after a similar
increase in July. This was mainly because manufacturers began to recover
from a series of supply disruptions in autos, petroleum and metal
refining that affected the second quarter output.

Despite this increase, average workweek hours decreased 0.5% (to
36.6 hrs) in August, and the ratio of shipments to inventories declined
to 1.92 from 1.94.

The money supply continued its advance, growing 0.3% after posting
a 0.2% increase in July. The stock market retreated 2.0% in August and
was the weakest contributor to the index along with the housing sector.

Sales of furniture and appliances rose 1.1% while other durable
goods sale increased 1.6% in August. This was the largest monthly
increase in spending on other durable goods as shortages of Japanese
models began to ease.

The unsmoothed composite leading indicator was 0.6% higher in
August as recovery in the manufacturing sector offset the declines in
the stock market and housing.

–Akhil Shah is a reporter with Need To Know News In Ottawa

** Market News International Ottawa **