Gross domestic product by industry

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May 2011 (Previous release)

Real gross domestic product decreased 0.3% in May, after no change in April and a 0.3% increase in March. The mining, oil and gas extraction sector was the main source of the decline in May. Manufacturing and construction also fell. Wholesale and retail trade, the public sector, utilities as well as the finance and insurance sector increased. Transportation services were unchanged.

Real gross domestic product decreases in May

Chart description: Real gross domestic product decreases in May

Note to readers

The monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data at basic prices are chained volume estimates with 2002 as their reference year. This means that the data for each industry and aggregate are obtained from a chained volume index multiplied by the industry's value added in 2002. For the 1997 to 2007 period, the monthly data are benchmarked to annually chained Fisher volume indexes of GDP obtained from the constant-price input-output tables.

For the period starting with January 2008, the data 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 2007. This makes the monthly GDP by industry data 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 2010. For more information about monthly GDP by industry, see the National Economic Accounts module on our website (

Weather and maintenance hamper energy production

After two consecutive monthly increases, mining, oil and gas extraction fell 5.3% in May. Oil and gas extraction decreased by 4.2% as wildfires in Northern Alberta as well as maintenance shutdowns resulted in reduced production at oil fields. Support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction contracted as drilling and rigging activities were down partly as a result of unfavourable weather. Output of copper, nickel, lead and zinc mines declined 9.6%, following a 6.1% gain in April.

Oil and gas extraction falls

Chart description: Oil and gas extraction falls

Manufacturing declines

Manufacturing declined 0.4% in May, with production of non-durable goods decreasing 1.4% while the output of durable goods increased 0.4%. Output at refineries was significantly reduced, mostly as a result of maintenance shutdowns at a number of facilities across the country. Manufacturing of food and plastic products also declined. Motor vehicles and parts production decreased 0.5% in May, following a more pronounced decline in April caused mainly by a supply disruption as a consequence of the tsunami in Japan. Conversely, manufacturing of computer and electronic products (+5.1%), chemicals (+2.3%) as well as machinery (+1.2%) was up.

Construction decreases

Construction activity was down 0.3% in May. A decline in engineering and repair work and non-residential building construction outweighed an increase in residential building construction.

Growth in wholesale and in retail trade

Wholesale trade advanced 1.0% in May, with the growth concentrated in machinery and equipment as well as agricultural supplies. Wholesaling of petroleum products and of motor vehicles was down.

Retail trade was up 0.2% as a result of increased activity at building material and garden equipment stores and general merchandise stores. Conversely, activity at food and beverage stores and new car dealers was down.

Increase in the public sector

Output in all three components of the public sector (education, health and public administration) increased, with a notable advance in the federal government as a result of the 2011 Census.

Other industries

The finance and insurance sector edged up 0.1% in May. Growth in the credit intermediation and securities brokerage industries was partially offset by a decline in the insurance sector.

While transportation services overall were unchanged, the declines in mining and in manufacturing output contributed to a reduction in rail transportation. Air transportation was also down.

Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, May 2011

Chart description: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, May 2011

Available on CANSIM: table 379-0027.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 1301.

The May 2011 issue of Gross Domestic Product by Industry, Vol. 25, no. 5 (15-001-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.

Data on gross domestic product by industry for June will be released on August 31.

For more information, or to order data, contact the dissemination agent (toll-free 1-800-887-4623; 613-951-4623; To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Bernard Lefrançois (613-951-3622), Industry Accounts Division.