Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Trillium Network’s latest data bulletin explores capital expenditures in Ontario’s manufacturing sector

June 21, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Trillium Network for Advanced Manufacturing recently released a data bulletin that examines capital expenditures in Ontario’s manufacturing sector between 2012 and 2021.

The association explains in its bulletin that the document specifically aims to better understand capital expenditures across different manufacturing industries in Ontario over time. To do so, it draws upon Statistics Canada’s Annual Capital and Repair Expenditures Survey (Table 34-10-0035-01). Trillum explains that while this survey includes data on capital expenditures related to construction and to machinery and equipment, the association’s analysis focuses on machinery and equipment, which account for a large majority of capital expenditures.

The association states in its data bulletin:

“Investing in machinery and equipment is vital to the competitiveness of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sector. These investments improve productivity, production capacity, and product quality. It is, therefore, important for policy-makers and other industry stakeholders to understand the trends related to these investments.


Analyzing manufacturers’ capital expenditures–especially those related to machinery and equipment–helps identify industries where productivity and competitiveness are likely to improve. It can also help identify those industries that are lagging behind. As a result, policymakers and industry stakeholders are better able to develop and augment programs and initiatives that are designed to leverage existing competitive advantages and address gaps and challenges.”

The key takeaways from the report, according to Trillium, are the following:

  • Capital expenditures are crucial to understanding the evolution and trajectory of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sector and its specific industries.
  • Capital expenditures in most Ontario manufacturing industries were considerably higher between 2017 and 2021 than they were between 2012 and 2016. This is good news and improves the sector’s competitiveness moving forward.
  • The most substantial capital expenditures were made in the transportation equipment, primary metal, and chemical manufacturing industries. These industries tend to lead the way in Ontario.
  • The food manufacturing industry saw significant growth in its capital expenditures in nominal and relative terms. This bodes well for the future of food manufacturing in the province.

The complete data bulletin is available on Trillium’s website.

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