OTTAWA (CP) -- Nine of 10 components declined as February's composite leading index fell 1.1 percent after a 0.9 percent decrease in January.
Statistics Canada reports the housing and stock markets continued to post the largest declines, while manufacturing losses steepened in the face of extensive shutdowns in the auto industry.
The three manufacturing indicators declined in unison.
New orders fell 4.8 percent, with the weakness in autos intensifying and spreading to other industries like iron and steel.
Inventories fell for a seventh straight month, but not as fast as sales, reducing the ratio of shipments to stocks.
The auto sector also bore the brunt of declining household spending.
Durable goods sales fell 1.4 percent, largely due to a sharp drop in auto sales late in 2008.
The housing index declined eight percent, the most of any component, as an upturn in home sales was outweighed by fewer housing starts in February.
The money supply was the one component to expand. The stimulus from monetary policy also was a major factor behind the slower rate of decline in the leading index for the United States.