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Monday, December 22, 2003

Services indicators

Third quarter 2003

Economic output for services industries advanced 0.4% in the third quarter, rising to a level 2.3% higher than in the third quarter of 2002.

Growth, however, was slower than the 0.7% gain in the first quarter and the 0.5% increase in the second.

An analysis in the latest issue of Services Indicators shows that services industries experienced a recovery from the impact of SARS, mad cow disease and the operations in Iraq in the third quarter.

However, unlike the manufacturing sector, many services industries could not recuperate losses incurred as a result of the mid-August power blackout in Ontario. Telecommunication services and arts, entertainment and recreation industries were prime examples.

On the positive side, tourism and travel to Canada from other countries recovered from a sluggish first half. This was reflected in a strong upturn in real output for the traveller accommodation industry which advanced 2.9% from the second quarter. This followed a 9.9% decline in output in the previous quarter.

Total employment in accommodation services also expanded, rising 15.5% from the second quarter. Compared with the third quarter of 2002, employment stood almost 5% higher this quarter.

The food services industry also fared better than average in the third quarter, as output rose 1.2%, its first gain since the third quarter of 2002. Other positive developments were a strong housing market and low interest rates, leading to important gains in real estate services and in financial and insurance industries.

The third quarter issue of Services Indicators also contains an article entitled "Building the perfect system: An analysis of the computer system design and related services industries." The study shows that these industries employ about 128,000 people and have been experiencing strong revenue growth in recent years. The vast majority of firms (96%) in these industries are small in size, that is, they have fewer than 10 employees. However, large firms, which represent only 1% of companies in these industries, account for almost half of all employees and revenues earned.

The third quarter 2003 issue of Services Indicators, Vol. 10, No. 3 (63-016-XIB, $28/$94; 63-016-XPB, $38/$125) is now available.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Gaston Levesque (613-951-9344;, Service Industries Division.

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Date Modified: 2003-12-22 Important Notices