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Gross domestic product by industry

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The Daily


Thursday, December 21, 2006
October 2006

Economic activity remained essentially unchanged in October after contracting 0.4% in September. Both the goods-producing sector and the service sector stood still. Unlike their performance the previous month, the energy and utilities sectors experienced strong growth. However, these gains were offset by the losses registered in several sectors, including manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail trade.

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Production rises in energy and utilities sectors

The energy sector advanced 0.9% in October. The production, distribution and transportation of natural gas were one of the sector's main engines of growth. Natural gas inventories remained high, while prices rose in October, following several months of a downward movement. A rebound in electricity production and, to a lesser extent, an increase in refinery output also boosted the sector. On the other hand, oil production declined and oil and gas exploration fell steeply (-8.4%) for a third consecutive month.


Note to readers

The monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data are chained volume estimates with 1997 as their reference year. This means that the estimates for each industry and aggregate are obtained from a chained volume index multiplied by the industry's value added in 1997.

For the period 1997 to 2003, the monthly estimates are benchmarked to annually chained Fisher volume indexes of GDP obtained from the constant-price input-output tables. For the period starting with January 2004, the estimates are derived by chaining a fixed-weight Laspeyres volume index to the prior period.

The fixed weights are the industry output and input prices of 2003. This makes the monthly GDP by industry estimates more comparable with the expenditure-based GDP data, chained quarterly.

With this release of monthly GDP by industry, revisions have been made back to January 2006.

For more information about monthly GDP by industry, see the National economic accounts module on our website (/nea).


The output of the mining sector, excluding oil and natural gas, advanced 4.9%. With the end of a work stoppage on a site in Labrador, the production of base minerals made up for the losses in September. Non-metallic mineral extraction was also up sharply.

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Automotive production slows manufacturing activity...

For a ninth month since the start of the year, the activity of the manufacturing sector was down in October (-0.8%). The manufacturing of non-durable goods rose 0.3%, whereas that of durable goods was down sharply (-1.5%). Of the 21 major groups, 12 decreased, accounting for 71% of total manufacturing value added.

Continuing the pattern observed since the start of the year, automakers and manufacturers of related products, such as steel and motor vehicle parts, significantly cut back their production in October. Manufacturers of wood products registered a seventh decrease since January, with some sawmills either cutting back activities or temporarily shutting down facilities. Food products manufacturing also slowed considerably, as did the aerospace industry, which dropped back after a strong gain in September. Advances in the printing industry and the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and machinery partly offset the losses in other sectors.

Industrial production (the output of mines, utilities and factories) remained unchanged in October. The strong increase in utilities and, to a lesser extent, the increase in mining, offset the decline in manufacturing. In October, the situation in the United States was similar to that observed in Canada — a stable industrial production and an increase in utilities and mines offsetting losses in the manufacturing sector. The American situation improved in November, as preliminary figures showed a 0.3% increase in the manufacturing sector.

...and puts a damper on wholesale trade

Wholesale trade declined 0.8% in October. The persistent decline in automotive manufacturing since July has resulted in a substantial slowdown in the activity of wholesalers in this field since August. However, part of these losses was offset by an upturn in sales of household and personal products, pharmaceuticals, and machinery and electronic equipment.

Retail trade declined 0.5%, led by a marked decrease in sales of used cars, and at home centres and hardware stores, clothing stores, and general merchandise stores (which include department stores). New motor vehicle sales were almost unchanged after a steep drop in September.

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Construction and real estate sectors post gains

The construction sector rose 0.2% in October. An increase in engineering and repair work offset declines in residential and non-residential construction. The 0.4% decrease in residential construction was the result of a marked decline in single-family homes, while apartment construction was up. Non-residential building construction fell 0.2%.

After five months of consecutive declines, the home resale market momentarily rebounded in October, enabling real estate agents to register a gain of 0.5%.

Other industries

The losses registered in the manufacturing, wholesale trade and retail trade sectors contributed to the decline in the transportation and warehousing sector, especially in trucking (-1.7%) and rail transportation (-3.5%). Industries related to tourism, such as accommodation and air transportation, benefited from an increase in the number of overnight visitors to Canada.

Available on CANSIM: tables 379-0017 to 379-0022.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 1301.

The October 2006 issue of Gross Domestic Product by Industry, Vol. 20, no. 10 (15-001-XWE, free) is now available from the Publications module of our website.

Data on gross domestic product by industry for November will be released on January 31, 2007.

For general information or to order data, contact our dissemination agent (613-951-4623 or toll-free 1-800-887-IMAD; IAD-Info-DCI@statcan.gc.ca). To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Bernard Lefrançois (613-951-3622), Industry Accounts Division.

Tables. Table(s).