Gross domestic product by industry

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August 2011 (Previous release)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.3% in August, following increases of 0.4% in July and 0.2% in June. The energy sector accounted for most of the increase in August. Excluding the energy sector, real GDP was unchanged.

Growth was also recorded in the finance and insurance sector, retail trade and construction. Conversely, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities, and some tourism-related industries declined. The public sector (public administration, education and health care) overall was unchanged.

Real gross domestic product rises in August

 Real gross domestic product rises in August

Chart description: Real gross domestic product rises in August

The energy sector increases for a third consecutive month

Output of the energy sector advanced 2.8% in August. This followed gains in July (+0.3%) and June (+2.3%), after a significant reduction in May (-4.5%), mainly caused by inclement weather conditions and maintenance work at some oil fields. Oil and gas extraction rose 2.6% in August, as a result of increased crude petroleum production and, to a lesser extent, natural gas extraction. Support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction rose 17%, as a result of increased drilling and rigging activity.

Note to readers

The monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data at basic prices are chained volume estimates with 2002 as the reference year. This means that the data for each industry and each aggregate are obtained from a chained volume index multiplied by the industry's value added in 2002. For the 1997 to 2008 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 2009, the data are derived by chaining a fixed-weight Laspeyres volume index to the prior period. The fixed weights are 2008 industry prices.

This approach 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 2011. For more information about monthly GDP by industry, see the National economic accounts module on our website.

Mining output, excluding oil and gas extraction, was unchanged. The increase at coal mines was offset by reduced output at metal and non-metallic mineral mines.

Energy sector output increases

Energy sector output increases

Chart description: Energy sector output increases

The finance and insurance sector rises

The finance and insurance sector rose 1.4% in August. A higher volume of trading on the stock exchanges, which was partly a result of financial markets reacting to concerns over the debt situation in some countries, led the increase. Activity in the insurance sector edged down 0.1%.

Widespread declines in wholesale trade while retail trade advances

Wholesale trade fell 1.4% following a 1.8% increase in July. Decreases were recorded in nearly all of the wholesale sub-sectors, notably in petroleum products and in motor vehicles and parts.

Retail trade grew 0.2% in August. Increases at gasoline stations as well as motor vehicle and parts dealers outweighed decreases at general merchandise stores (which includes department stores).

Manufacturing down

After advancing 1.4% in July, manufacturing output fell 0.4% in August. Manufacturers of durable goods reduced production by 0.8%, while non-durable goods manufacturing edged up 0.1%. Notable decreases were recorded in non-metallic mineral products, wood products, as well as chemical and paper products. Increases were posted in the production of food, petroleum, and primary metal products.

Construction edges up

Construction edged up 0.1% in August. Both residential building construction and engineering and repair work grew, while all types of non-residential building construction (industrial, institutional and commercial) retreated.

Other industries

The output of utilities fell 0.8%, as gains in natural gas distribution were offset by decreases in the demand for electricity.

Some tourism-related industries, such as air transportation and accommodation and food services, decreased in August, mirroring a drop in overnight travel to Canada.

The public sector was unchanged, as increases in education and health care services were offset by a decrease in federal government activity as a result of the winding down of the 2011 Census.

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

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

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

Available on CANSIM: table 379-0027.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 1301.

The August 2011 issue of Gross Domestic Product by Industry, Vol. 25, no. 8 (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 September will be released on November 30.

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 Allan Tomas (613-951-9277), Industry Accounts Division.