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Gross domestic product by industry, August 2016

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Released: 2016-11-01

Real GDP by industry

August 2016


(monthly change)

Real gross domestic product rose 0.2% in August, following a 0.4% increase in July. The output of goods-producing industries rose while service-producing industries were essentially unchanged.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Real gross domestic product increases in August
Real gross domestic product increases in August

The output of goods-producing industries grew 0.7% in August, with the main contribution coming from mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction and utilities. Manufacturing and construction were also up, while the agriculture and forestry sector was down.

There was essentially no change in the output of service-producing industries in August. Wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing services, accommodation and food services as well as the public sector (education, health and public administration combined) increased. Declines were posted in the finance and insurance sector and retail trade.

Potash, oil and gas lead growth in the sector

The output of the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector grew for a third consecutive month, rising 1.4% in August, following four consecutive declines earlier in 2016. The mining excluding oil and gas extraction subsector increased 2.0%, in large part due to a 14% gain in potash mining on the strength of higher exports. Metal ore mining (-1.2%) declined for the third time in four months, as a result of a 5.8% drop in copper, nickel, lead and zinc mining.

There was a 0.9% rise in the oil and gas extraction subsector as both non-conventional (+1.1%) and conventional oil and gas extraction (+0.8%) increased. Production capacity in the non-conventional oil and gas extraction industry has essentially returned to its level prior to maintenance shutdowns in April and the Fort McMurray wildfire and evacuation in May.

After falling for six months in a row, support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction rose 3.5% in August, led by higher activity in rigging and drilling services.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction grows again in August
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction grows again in August

Utilities rise on increased electricity demand

Utilities rose 2.4% in August. Electric power generation, transmission and distribution increased 3.2%, as much of Eastern and Central Canada experienced warmer than usual August weather. This affected demand for electricity, particularly in Ontario, where August heatwaves set new records in many localities, including the Greater Toronto Area.

Manufacturing output rises

Manufacturing output rose 0.3% in August as both durable and non-durable goods manufacturing increased.

Durable goods manufacturing rose 0.3%, primarily as a result of increases in primary metal and machinery manufacturing. These gains were partially offset by declines in the fabricated metal product, miscellaneous manufacturing and electrical equipment, appliance and component subsectors.

Non-durable goods manufacturing grew 0.3% as a result of increases in output from the beverage and tobacco and food manufacturing subsectors. The increase in food manufacturing was the fifth in six months and was widespread among most industry groups. Most other subsectors were down, led by petroleum and coal product and chemical manufacturing.

Construction increases

After declining for four consecutive months, construction increased 0.5% in August. The main reason for the gain was a 1.2% rise in residential building construction, related to apartment construction and alterations. Repair construction was up after decreasing five months in a row while non-residential building and engineering construction were down.

The overall real estate and rental and leasing sector was essentially unchanged in August. However, activity at real estate agents and brokers declined 3.2%, the largest monthly decrease since January 2015 and a fourth consecutive decline. There was notably lower activity in British Columbia, where a new 15% property tax on home purchases by non-residents came into effect in August. The output of lessors of real estate increased 0.3%.

Transportation and warehousing services grows again

After increasing 1.1% in July, transportation and warehousing services grew 0.4% in August. Pipeline transportation of crude petroleum and air transportation were the major contributors to this gain.

Wholesale trade rises, while retail trade decreases

Wholesale trade rose 0.5% in August. The gain was primarily attributable to the increased output of miscellaneous wholesalers (which includes agricultural supplies), related to higher exports of fertilizer, pesticide and other chemical products.

Retail trade decreased 0.2% in August. Most store types registered declines, offsetting increases in food and beverage stores and furniture and home furnishings stores.

The finance and insurance sector declines

The finance and insurance sector was down 0.2% in August, the first decrease since November 2015. The decline was the result of a 2.5% decrease in financial investment services (such as investment banking and securities dealing and pension funds). Banking services were up 0.4% in August, led by increased activity in traditional banking services (loans and deposits).

Other industries

Following a 1.4% increase in July, its highest growth rate since July 2012, accommodation and food services rose 0.4% in August on continued gains in accommodation services. Food services and drinking places were essentially unchanged.

The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) edged up 0.1% in August. Health care and social assistance and public administration edged up, while educational services edged down.

A 0.3% rise in information and cultural industries was the result of increased advertising revenue earned by the radio and television broadcasting industry in August, largely related to the airing of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product in August
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product in August

  Note to readers

Monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data at basic prices are chained volume estimates with 2007 as the reference year. This means that data for each industry and each aggregate are obtained from a chained volume index, multiplied by the industry's value added in 2007. Monthly data are benchmarked to annually chained Fisher volume indexes of GDP obtained from the constant-price supply and use tables (SUT) up to the latest SUT year (2012).

For the period starting with January 2013, data are derived by chaining a fixed-weight Laspeyres volume index to the prior period. The fixed weights are 2012 industry prices.

This approach makes the monthly GDP by industry data more comparable with expenditure-based GDP data, which are chained quarterly.

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted. For information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

For more information on GDP, see the video, "What is Gross Domestic Product (GDP)?"


With this release of monthly GDP by industry data, revisions have been made back to January 2015.

Each month, newly available administrative and survey data from various industries in the economy are integrated and result in statistical revisions. Updated and revised administrative data (including taxation statistics), new information provided by respondents to industry surveys, and standard changes to seasonal adjustment calculations are incorporated with each release.

For more information about monthly national GDP by industry, see the System of Macroeconomic Accounts module on our website.

Real-time CANSIM tables

Real-time CANSIM table 379-8031 will be updated on November 15. For more information, consult the document Real-time CANSIM tables.

Next release

Data on GDP by industry for September will be released on November 30.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Allan Tomas (613-790-6570), Industry Accounts Division.

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