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Gross domestic product by industry, April 2019

Released: 2019-06-28

Real GDP by industry

April 2019

0.3% increase

(monthly change)

Real gross domestic product was up 0.3% in April, following a 0.5% increase in March. Goods-producing industries rose 0.4%, while services producing industries increased 0.2%. The 20 industrial sectors were nearly evenly split between gains and losses.

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

On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product increased 0.3%, up compared with the three-month rolling average in March (+0.1%).

Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction up as all subsectors expand

Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction was up 4.5% in April, primarily due to a 5.5% rise in oil and gas extraction, as output increased following government-mandated production cuts in Alberta that started in January 2019. The rise in this sector is the strongest since the recovery from the wildfires that affected production capacity in the Fort McMurray area in the spring of 2016.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction increases in April
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction increases in April

Oil sands extraction increased 11.0% as facilities scaled up production rather than undertaking maintenance activities, to take advantage of the easing of production restrictions. Oil and gas extraction (excluding oil sands) was up 0.5% as a decline in crude petroleum was offset by an increase in natural gas extraction.

Mining excluding oil and gas grew 1.7%. Non-metallic minerals mining increased 3.9%, led by a 4.4% expansion in potash mining. Metal ore mining gained 0.6% as growth in copper, nickel, lead and zinc mining (+11.4%) more than offset the declines in other types of metal ore mining. Coal mining was down for the third consecutive month, contracting 4.1% in April.

After posting declines for four consecutive months, support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction expanded 5.4%, mainly as a result of increased drilling and rigging services.

Wholesale trade continues to grow

The wholesale trade sector increased 1.4% in April, up for the fourth consecutive month, as all but one subsector grew. Machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaling was up 1.8% as activity involving wholesalers of construction and industrial machinery and equipment and other machinery and equipment was up. Pharmaceuticals were the main reason for the 2.9% rise in personal and household goods. Motor vehicles and parts (+3.0%) was up due to higher activity in the wholesaling of motor vehicles and new vehicle parts.

Manufacturing sector down

The manufacturing sector contracted 0.8% in April, the largest monthly contraction since August 2017, as a decline in durable manufacturing more than offset an uptick in non-durable manufacturing.

Durable manufacturing declined 2.0% in April, as 6 of 10 subsectors contracted, fully offsetting increases seen in the first few months of the year. The decrease was primarily due to a 4.3% drop in transportation equipment, which declined for the first time in four months, as most industry groups contracted. Motor vehicle manufacturing was down 7.7% as a result of temporary shutdowns at some plants and atypical production schedules. The decrease in assembly activity also contributed to the 7.6% decline in motor vehicle parts manufacturing.

Machinery (-3.1%), computer and electronic products (-3.9%) and fabricated metal products (-1.1%) manufacturing were other main contributors to the decline in durable manufacturing.

Non-durable manufacturing was up 0.6% as five of the nine subsectors increased, led by manufacturers of food (+1.3%), chemicals (+1.2%) and petroleum and coal products (+1.4%).

The construction sector increases in April

The construction sector increased 0.2% in April, the third increase in the last four months, as the majority of subsectors expanded. Residential construction was up 0.2%, mainly due to higher investment in multi-unit type dwellings. Non-residential construction grew 0.7% in April, up for the fifth month in a row, as all types of activity increased. Engineering and other construction increased 0.6%, while repair construction contracted 1.0%.

Increased housing resale activity in Ontario and western Canadian provinces pushed activity at offices of real estate agents and brokers up 1.3% in April.

Retail trade edges down after two months of growth

Retail trade edged down 0.1% in April following two months of growth. The 12 subsectors were evenly split between gains and losses. Gains at food and beverage (+0.7%) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music (+3.5%) stores were fully offset by declines at building material and garden equipment and supplies (-2.2%) and clothing and clothing accessories stores (-1.3%), influenced in part by less favourable weather for springtime purchases such as clothing and garden supplies.

Transportation and warehousing edges down

Transportation and warehousing edged down 0.1% in April, mainly as a result of the declines in trucking (-0.3%) and support activities for transportation (-0.5%). Air transportation was up 0.2%, while pipeline transportation increased 0.4% as a 1.6% decline in pipeline transportation of natural gas was fully offset by a 2.3% increase in crude oil and other pipeline transportation.

Other industries

The public sector edged up 0.2% in April, with all three components (education, health care and public administration) rising.

Professional, scientific and technical services rose 0.4%, as a result of gains in most subsectors.

The finance and insurance sector decreased 0.2% in April. There were declines in financial investment services, funds and other financial vehicles (-2.3%) and insurance carriers and related activities (-0.1%), while depository credit intermediation and monetary authorities increased 0.3%.

Utilities were down 0.8% as growth in natural gas distribution (+0.9%) was fully offset by a decline in electric power generation, transmission and distribution (-1.2%).

Accommodation and food services were up 0.3% from an increase in accommodation services, while food services and drinking places edged down.

Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting decreased 0.3%, as most subsectors were down.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percentage change in gross domestic product in April
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percentage change in gross domestic product in April


Sustainable Development Goals

On January 1, 2016, the world officially began implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—the United Nations' transformative plan of action that addresses urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The plan is based on 17 specific sustainable development goals.

The release on gross domestic product by industry is an example of how Statistics Canada supports the reporting on the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. This release will be used in helping to measure the following goal:

  Note to readers

The monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data at basic prices are chained volume estimates with 2012 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 2012. The 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 (2015).

For the period starting with January 2016, data are derived by chaining a fixed-weight Laspeyres volume index to the prior period. The fixed weights are 2015 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)?"

Revisions

With this release of monthly GDP by industry, revisions have been made back to January 2018.

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.

Real-time table

Real-time table 36-10-0491-01 will be updated on July 15.

Next release

Data on GDP by industry for May will be released on July 31.

Products

The User Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-606-G) is also available.

The Methodological Guide: Canadian System of Macroeconomic Accounts (Catalogue number13-607-X) is also available.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca).

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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