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Canadian Manufacturers Warn Of Problems Ahead

Canada's battered manufacturers and exporters say conditions are only improving in the margins and many still report falling orders and plan to lay off workers.

OTTAWA (CP) -- Canada's battered manufacturers and exporters are still not convinced the end of the recession will dramatically improve their prospects.

The Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters say a survey of members shows that conditions are only improving in the margins and that many still report falling orders and plans to lay off workers.

The survey of 727 companies conducted this month found 38 per cent reporting orders continued to fall in the past three months, an improvement from the 50 per cent reported in September.

But firms also complained that the high dollar is adding to their woes, and a quarter of them plan to lay off workers in the next three months.

As well, 66 per cent say they have been unable to secure financing for working capital purposes.

Association president Jayson Myers says the new survey indicates that while manufacturers are more optimistic, the improvement has not been dramatic.

He says especially worrying is that even after shedding 200,000 jobs in the past year, a significant number of employers are still planning to lay off workers in the next few months.

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