Economic Insights
Recent Developments in the Canadian Economy: Spring 2016

by Guy Gellatly, Analytical Studies Branch

Release date: May 16, 2016 Correction date: (if required)

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This article in the Economic Insights series provides users with an integrated summary of recent changes in output, employment, household demand, international trade and prices. Organized as a statistical summary of major indicators, the report is designed to inform about recent developments in the Canadian economy, highlighting major changes in the economic data during late 2015 and early 2016. Unless otherwise noted, the tabulations presented in this report are based on seasonally adjusted data available in CANSIM on May 10, 2016.

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Overview

The economy strengthened during the second half of 2015 as household spending and exports supported growth. However, business investment continued to weigh on growth as outlays on non-residential structures, machinery and equipment and intellectual property declined. The output of goods industries strengthened towards year end as oil and gas extraction and manufacturing advanced. Non-conventional oil producers increased production in late 2015 as the volume of energy exports increased into the new year. Similarly, automotive manufacturers expanded output in late 2015 as exports of motor vehicles and parts advanced. 

Lower energy prices reduced the value of export sales during the second half of 2015. Canada’s annual energy exports, measured in  current dollars, were $44.8 billion lower in 2015 than in 2014.

Employment gains were modest in the second half of 2015 as the growth in full-time work  slowed. Employment increased in health care and social assistance industries and in professional, scientific and technical industries. Employment in manufacturing edged up late in the year.   

Economic activity in Alberta moderated in the second half of 2015 as the economy continued to adjust to lower oil prices. Retail sales, wholesale sales, and manufacturing shipments in Alberta all trended lower. Employment in resource industries contracted. Unemployment rose during the second half of the year as average weekly earnings, measured year-over-year,  declined.

At the national level, output growth began to outpace employment growth in the second half of 2015 as production in the goods sector advanced.

Chart 1 Output and employment

Description for Chart 1
Chart 1 Output and employment , year-over-year change (percent)
  Real gross domestic product Employment
January 2007 1.4 2.5
February 2007 1.7 2.4
March 2007 1.8 2.3
April 2007 1.9 2.1
May 2007 2.3 1.7
June 2007 2.8 2.0
July 2007 2.6 2.3
August 2007 2.8 2.3
September 2007 2.7 2.4
October 2007 2.6 2.6
November 2007 2.5 2.5
December 2007 1.4 2.2
January 2008 2.0 2.0
February 2008 1.3 2.1
March 2008 1.2 1.8
April 2008 1.2 2.0
May 2008 0.8 1.8
June 2008 0.7 1.5
July 2008 1.1 1.1
August 2008 0.7 1.2
September 2008 0.9 1.3
October 2008 0.7 1.1
November 2008 -0.4 0.3
December 2008 -1.4 0.1
January 2009 -2.2 -0.8
February 2009 -2.6 -1.3
March 2009 -3.5 -1.4
April 2009 -4.0 -1.7
May 2009 -4.1 -1.9
June 2009 -4.2 -1.9
July 2009 -4.4 -1.9
August 2009 -4.4 -1.9
September 2009 -3.7 -2.1
October 2009 -3.5 -2.2
November 2009 -1.9 -1.1
December 2009 -0.3 -1.0
January 2010 0.8 0.0
February 2010 1.9 0.4
March 2010 3.2 0.6
April 2010 3.4 1.3
May 2010 4.0 1.6
June 2010 4.1 2.1
July 2010 4.1 2.0
August 2010 4.5 2.1
September 2010 3.7 1.7
October 2010 4.1 1.8
November 2010 3.9 1.5
December 2010 4.4 1.8
January 2011 4.0 1.9
February 2011 3.3 1.8
March 2011 3.1 1.8
April 2011 3.3 1.6
May 2011 2.6 1.4
June 2011 2.8 1.2
July 2011 3.4 1.4
August 2011 3.6 1.5
September 2011 3.9 1.7
October 2011 3.4 1.4
November 2011 3.1 1.2
December 2011 2.9 1.2
January 2012 2.6 0.7
February 2012 2.5 0.7
March 2012 2.4 1.1
April 2012 2.7 1.5
May 2012 2.9 1.4
June 2012 2.6 1.3
July 2012 2.1 1.0
August 2012 1.4 1.2
September 2012 1.0 1.3
October 2012 1.0 1.5
November 2012 1.2 1.7
December 2012 0.7 1.8
January 2013 1.2 2.0
February 2013 1.8 2.2
March 2013 2.0 1.5
April 2013 1.7 1.1
May 2013 2.0 1.5
June 2013 1.6 1.4
July 2013 2.0 1.5
August 2013 2.5 1.4
September 2013 2.9 1.2
October 2013 3.4 1.2
November 2013 3.2 1.0
December 2013 2.7 0.7
January 2014 2.3 0.7
February 2014 2.5 0.6
March 2014 2.3 1.0
April 2014 2.5 0.7
May 2014 2.8 0.4
June 2014 3.4 0.5
July 2014 2.8 0.6
August 2014 2.2 0.3
September 2014 2.2 0.5
October 2014 2.1 0.8
November 2014 1.8 0.7
December 2014 2.5 0.7
January 2015 2.1 0.7
February 2015 1.5 0.7
March 2015 1.3 0.8
April 2015 0.9 0.7
May 2015 0.3 1.1
June 2015 0.6 1.0
July 2015 0.9 0.9
August 2015 1.4 1.1
September 2015 0.5 0.9
October 2015 0.2 0.8
November 2015 0.6 0.7
December 2015 0.7 0.9
January 2016 1.6 0.7
February 2016 1.5 0.7
March 2016   0.7
April 2016   0.8
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM tables 282-0087 and 379-0031.

Consumer spending and exports supported growth in the second half of 2015

Output strengthened during the second half of 2015 as the economy rebounded from two consecutive quarterly declines. Real GDP increased 0.2% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.6% gain in the third. For 2015 as a whole, the economy grew 1.2%, about half the pace of growth in 2014.

Consumer spending continued to support growth in the second half, but moderated late in the year. Household final expenditures rose 0.2% in the fourth quarter, down from 0.5% in the third, as durable spending on autos slowed. Expenditures on housing, furnishings and audio-visual equipment increased in the fourth quarter. For 2015 as a whole, household expenditures increased 1.9%, down from 2.6% in 2014. Annual expenditures on durables, supported by higher auto sales, rose 3.3%. 

Export volumes contributed positively to GDP growth in the third quarter (+2.6%), but contracted late in the year (-0.6%) as energy exports declined. In contrast, exports of motor vehicles and parts, metals and non-metallic minerals, and forestry products advanced towards year end. Exports of consumer goods edged down in the fourth quarter, after a notable third-quarter gain. For 2015 as a whole, export volumes increased by 3.0%, down from an increase of 5.3% in 2014.   

Chart 2 Real gross domestic product, selected aggregates

Description for Chart 2
Chart 2 Real gross domestic product, selected aggregates , index (Q1 2007=100)
  Household expenditure Government current expenditure Non-residential business investment Goods exports Housing
first quarter 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
second quarter 2007 101.5 100.5 100.5 101.6 100.6
third quarter 2007 102.4 101.9 100.9 99.7 100.3
fourth quarter 2007 104.3 101.9 102.7 96.9 100.7
first quarter 2008 105.1 102.8 106.4 95.5 99.5
second quarter 2008 105.2 105.1 106.6 96.3 97.2
third quarter 2008 105.3 105.0 106.6 95.2 95.0
fourth quarter 2008 104.0 106.5 101.3 89.9 89.5
first quarter 2009 103.7 106.6 85.7 81.4 83.7
second quarter 2009 104.5 107.4 82.1 77.3 86.7
third quarter 2009 105.7 108.0 82.8 80.1 90.2
fourth quarter 2009 106.4 108.8 85.2 82.1 95.8
first quarter 2010 107.6 109.8 89.8 84.0 98.5
second quarter 2010 108.5 109.7 94.1 87.3 97.3
third quarter 2010 109.4 110.1 97.6 87.1 95.5
fourth quarter 2010 110.4 110.8 102.5 89.5 94.8
first quarter 2011 110.6 110.9 105.4 89.8 96.8
second quarter 2011 111.1 111.4 108.0 87.7 96.6
third quarter 2011 111.5 111.8 108.4 93.3 99.1
fourth quarter 2011 112.2 112.1 111.5 94.5 100.1
first quarter 2012 112.9 112.2 114.2 94.1 104.4
second quarter 2012 113.0 111.9 117.8 93.9 103.9
third quarter 2012 113.7 112.7 118.1 93.2 103.1
fourth quarter 2012 114.3 112.6 120.6 93.1 103.0
first quarter 2013 114.9 112.7 120.9 95.6 102.3
second quarter 2013 115.8 112.2 120.8 96.5 104.0
third quarter 2013 116.7 112.7 120.8 96.0 103.6
fourth quarter 2013 117.4 113.1 119.9 97.6 103.1
first quarter 2014 117.7 113.0 119.4 96.9 102.7
second quarter 2014 118.9 113.2 120.1 102.3 105.1
third quarter 2014 119.8 113.0 121.4 104.4 107.7
fourth quarter 2014 120.5 112.9 121.7 104.1 107.6
first quarter 2015 120.7 114.0 115.3 103.8 109.1
second quarter 2015 121.3 114.7 111.3 104.0 109.5
third quarter 2015 121.9 114.7 108.4 107.1 110.2
fourth quarter 2015 122.2 115.1 104.9 106.5 110.7
Note:
Q1=first quarter.
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 380-0064.

Business investment continued to contract in late 2015

Non-residential business investment continued to decline in the second half of 2015.  Outlays on non-residential structures and machinery and equipment (M&E) contracted 3.3% in the fourth quarter, following a 2.6% decline in the third. Lower outlays on non-residential structures reflected declines in both engineering structures and non-residential buildings. Capital outlays on engineering structures have declined for nine consecutive quarters.

Business investment in M&E contracted 2.3% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.9% decline in the third. Reduced outlays on autos, computer equipment and communications equipment contributed to lower M&E spending late in the year. Investments in intellectual property continued to decline during the second half of the year on lower outlays on  mineral exploration and evaluation. Measured year-over-year, investment spending on mineral exploration and evaluation was 50% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Capital spending on residential structures moderated the overall decline in business investment.  Outlays on housing rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter, the fourth consecutive quarterly increase. Renovations and ownership transfer costs, which reflect activity in resale markets, supported growth late in 2015, offsetting lower spending  on new construction. For 2015 as a whole, business investment in housing increased 3.9%, up from 2.5% in 2014.

Chart 3 Business gross fixed capital formation

Description for Chart 3
Chart 3 Business gross fixed capital formation , index (Q1 2007=100)
  Total business gross fixed capital formation Residential structures Non-residential structures Machinery and equipment Intellectual property products
first quarter 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
second quarter 2007 100.6 100.6 99.8 101.3 100.7
third quarter 2007 100.8 100.3 100.2 101.6 102.1
fourth quarter 2007 102.1 100.7 100.5 105.0 104.5
first quarter 2008 104.0 99.5 107.2 105.4 107.6
second quarter 2008 103.3 97.2 108.7 104.1 107.6
third quarter 2008 102.2 95.0 109.3 103.3 105.8
fourth quarter 2008 96.8 89.5 106.6 95.3 100.1
first quarter 2009 85.1 83.7 91.8 79.1 88.0
second quarter 2009 83.9 86.7 85.7 77.9 85.4
third quarter 2009 85.5 90.2 84.9 80.3 85.6
fourth quarter 2009 89.0 95.8 85.7 84.3 87.7
first quarter 2010 92.9 98.5 93.9 84.9 91.8
second quarter 2010 95.1 97.3 98.6 88.8 95.6
third quarter 2010 96.5 95.5 104.7 89.2 97.6
fourth quarter 2010 98.8 94.8 111.2 92.1 97.7
first quarter 2011 100.7 96.8 115.5 93.3 95.6
second quarter 2011 102.6 96.6 114.6 100.2 101.0
third quarter 2011 104.1 99.1 119.5 95.0 104.0
fourth quarter 2011 106.1 100.1 124.0 96.5 104.1
first quarter 2012 109.1 104.4 127.3 98.3 104.7
second quarter 2012 110.3 103.9 133.1 99.1 99.8
third quarter 2012 110.2 103.1 133.7 99.0 100.7
fourth quarter 2012 111.4 103.0 138.1 99.1 99.7
first quarter 2013 110.9 102.3 141.5 95.5 96.7
second quarter 2013 111.3 104.0 143.0 93.2 94.5
third quarter 2013 111.3 103.6 144.9 90.7 96.5
fourth quarter 2013 110.7 103.1 144.1 89.8 96.1
first quarter 2014 109.9 102.7 143.2 89.8 92.7
second quarter 2014 111.0 105.1 142.9 91.7 91.8
third quarter 2014 112.6 107.7 142.9 94.8 91.2
fourth quarter 2014 112.7 107.6 142.1 96.5 91.8
first quarter 2015 109.0 109.1 131.1 96.0 83.3
second quarter 2015 106.8 109.5 126.7 92.5 80.6
third quarter 2015 105.4 110.2 122.8 90.8 79.2
fourth quarter 2015 103.6 110.7 118.0 88.7 78.3
Note:
Q1=first quarter.
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 380-0068.

Business sector labour productivity improved in the second half of 2015 after two consecutive quarterly declines. Labour productivity edged up (+0.1%) in the fourth quarter, following a 0.4% increase in the third. Productivity increased in mining and oil and gas extraction industries in both quarters as hours worked contracted. Manufacturing productivity also edged up in the second half of the year following declines in the first.  

In the United States, real GDP slowed to 1.4% (annualized) in the fourth quarter of 2015, down from 2.0% in the third.  For 2015 as a whole, U.S. real GDP increased by 2.4%, compared to 1.2% in Canada. 

Oil and gas capital intentions down 26 percent

Oil and gas extraction industries anticipate spending 26.3% less on capital assets in 2016 as intentions for both structures and machinery and equipment declined. Anticipated capital outlays in oil and gas extraction amount to $36.5 billion in 2016, down from preliminary annual expenditures of $49.5 billion in 2015, and annual capital expenditures of $76.1 billion in 2014. In Alberta, oil and gas extraction industries anticipate spending $26.5 billion on capital assets in 2016, down 27.1% from preliminary actual outlays in 2015, and 54.4% from capital outlays in 2014.  

Capital spending in manufacturing industries is anticipated to decline by 10.9% in 2016, following increases in the previous two years. Manufacturers in Quebec anticipate higher capital outlays in 2016, while outlays by Ontario manufacturers are anticipated to decline.   

Overall, private and public organizations anticipate spending 4.4% less on non-residential construction and machinery and equipment assets in 2016. Overall capital spending in Alberta is anticipated to decline by 11.9%, while anticipated capital outlays in Quebec increased by 7.1%. Anticipated capital expenditures in Ontario are little changed from 2015 levels.

Manufacturing and oil and gas extraction strengthened into 2016 

Goods-producing industries increased output from November to January, supported by manufacturing and oil and gas extraction. Manufacturing recorded three consecutive monthly gains during this period, as motor vehicle and parts manufactures increased production into the new year. Petroleum refineries and wood product manufacturers also expanded output into January.

Construction output strengthened at year end, after three consecutive declines from September to November. Residential and repair construction supported the gain. Engineering construction also increased in December, following 13 consecutive monthly declines. As of January, non-residential building construction had declined for six consecutive months.

Chart 4 Real gross domestic product, selected industries

Description for Chart 4
Chart 4 Real gross domestic product, selected industries, index (January 2007=100)
  Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction Construction Manufacturing Retail trade
January 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 2007 101.2 100.2 100.5 100.1
March 2007 101.8 100.7 100.5 100.4
April 2007 99.4 101.1 100.8 102.0
May 2007 101.2 102.1 100.0 102.6
June 2007 101.7 102.3 100.2 102.4
July 2007 100.2 102.4 99.3 102.5
August 2007 102.4 102.8 99.0 103.9
September 2007 101.5 102.8 98.7 102.9
October 2007 99.3 102.0 98.7 103.3
November 2007 98.4 102.2 98.5 104.7
December 2007 97.4 103.4 95.9 106.4
January 2008 98.7 104.8 95.6 107.0
February 2008 97.4 105.1 95.9 106.1
March 2008 99.0 104.8 94.3 106.2
April 2008 98.6 103.7 95.6 106.6
May 2008 96.7 105.1 96.1 106.5
June 2008 98.3 104.7 95.5 106.9
July 2008 101.0 104.7 95.9 106.4
August 2008 100.2 104.5 94.2 106.6
September 2008 98.4 105.1 94.2 107.4
October 2008 99.2 105.8 92.8 106.3
November 2008 97.5 104.3 91.2 104.0
December 2008 94.2 102.1 87.2 101.3
January 2009 97.0 98.8 84.1 103.1
February 2009 93.5 97.5 83.2 102.9
March 2009 88.2 96.3 82.0 102.7
April 2009 85.4 95.7 80.7 102.6
May 2009 85.8 96.4 79.7 103.1
June 2009 86.6 96.5 79.0 103.3
July 2009 85.5 96.8 79.6 103.4
August 2009 83.9 97.5 80.0 103.5
September 2009 87.0 98.6 80.9 104.1
October 2009 87.0 99.6 80.5 104.0
November 2009 88.2 101.5 81.8 102.3
December 2009 87.2 102.5 81.4 104.0
January 2010 90.0 104.3 82.3 105.6
February 2010 92.8 104.8 83.4 105.6
March 2010 94.0 105.2 84.7 107.8
April 2010 93.6 105.6 84.6 105.4
May 2010 98.3 105.4 85.0 105.0
June 2010 97.7 105.9 86.1 105.7
July 2010 97.5 106.1 86.1 106.0
August 2010 97.1 106.8 86.0 106.4
September 2010 95.5 107.1 85.4 106.4
October 2010 98.9 107.5 85.3 106.0
November 2010 100.1 107.8 84.8 107.7
December 2010 102.4 108.0 86.2 107.1
January 2011 100.0 109.0 87.0 106.8
February 2011 99.5 109.4 86.3 106.8
March 2011 101.8 108.8 86.9 105.3
April 2011 102.5 108.6 86.9 106.5
May 2011 98.8 108.4 86.4 106.5
June 2011 100.5 109.5 86.8 107.9
July 2011 103.6 110.3 88.1 106.9
August 2011 107.3 111.1 87.9 106.8
September 2011 107.6 111.6 88.9 107.1
October 2011 105.9 111.8 89.1 107.8
November 2011 105.2 112.3 89.6 107.8
December 2011 105.6 113.5 91.1 109.5
January 2012 105.8 114.7 90.7 108.5
February 2012 103.1 115.8 89.3 107.3
March 2012 102.6 117.7 89.3 107.9
April 2012 102.8 119.2 90.2 107.1
May 2012 102.2 118.8 89.7 107.5
June 2012 100.9 119.3 89.8 107.5
July 2012 99.1 119.5 89.8 108.5
August 2012 97.5 119.7 89.5 107.4
September 2012 97.8 120.3 88.5 107.4
October 2012 99.5 121.1 87.5 107.3
November 2012 101.5 121.4 88.5 107.7
December 2012 101.7 121.7 87.9 107.1
January 2013 102.8 121.1 89.0 109.3
February 2013 105.0 121.4 89.2 108.6
March 2013 105.6 122.0 89.4 109.0
April 2013 104.6 122.4 88.9 109.6
May 2013 103.6 122.6 88.7 111.4
June 2013 103.3 119.7 88.7 109.9
July 2013 105.7 122.0 88.5 111.3
August 2013 107.3 122.2 88.7 111.8
September 2013 107.5 121.9 90.1 112.6
October 2013 109.1 122.1 90.7 113.0
November 2013 108.4 122.3 90.6 113.4
December 2013 108.1 121.1 88.9 112.4
January 2014 109.7 121.6 89.2 112.5
February 2014 112.0 122.3 90.8 113.1
March 2014 113.3 121.7 90.3 112.8
April 2014 114.8 121.6 90.8 114.2
May 2014 114.6 123.2 92.0 114.4
June 2014 116.1 123.8 92.5 116.0
July 2014 113.3 124.8 92.9 116.1
August 2014 109.5 123.9 91.8 115.5
September 2014 113.4 124.0 92.8 116.0
October 2014 115.3 124.5 92.6 116.0
November 2014 113.7 124.6 92.1 116.9
December 2014 112.3 124.2 93.7 115.4
January 2015 111.9 122.8 92.4 114.5
February 2015 111.2 121.3 91.3 116.2
March 2015 108.0 120.3 92.1 117.4
April 2015 105.3 119.5 91.7 116.6
May 2015 105.1 120.0 91.1 116.8
June 2015 108.9 118.9 91.5 117.0
July 2015 112.3 118.7 92.3 117.1
August 2015 113.7 119.0 92.8 118.1
September 2015 108.5 118.2 92.0 118.6
October 2015 109.0 117.2 91.8 118.5
November 2015 110.1 116.8 92.2 120.5
December 2015 110.3 117.5 93.6 118.3
January 2016 111.3 117.5 95.0 120.2
February 2016 110.5 117.6 94.2 121.9
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 379-0031.

After offsetting movements late in the year, retail trade strengthened in early 2016. As of January,  motor vehicles and parts dealers had increased volumes in seven of the last eight months.

After supply disruptions affected output in September, non-conventional oil extraction increased into early 2016. For 2015 as a whole, non-conventional output increased 8.9%, offsetting a 2.9% decline in conventional extraction. Establishments that provide support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, which include rigging and drilling services, continued to decline. Annual output for these support services was 35% lower in 2015, reflecting sizable contractions early in the year.  In contrast, crude oil and other pipeline transportation strengthened late in the year. For 2015 as a whole, output in this sector was 8.8% higher than in 2014.

Chart 5 Real Gross Domestic Product, selected industries

Description for Chart 5
Chart 5 Real gross domestic product, selected industries, index (January 2007=100)
  Conventional oil and gas extraction Non-conventional oil extraction Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction Crude oil and other pipeline transportation
January 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 2007 100.2 108.1 98.8 97.7
March 2007 100.3 112.5 95.5 96.6
April 2007 103.4 102.3 80.3 96.8
May 2007 103.7 100.0 88.1 96.1
June 2007 105.5 94.4 95.1 93.2
July 2007 99.5 101.6 100.9 96.6
August 2007 100.8 110.6 94.9 95.3
September 2007 101.0 106.4 94.1 94.8
October 2007 99.4 105.1 90.8 94.0
November 2007 98.3 101.8 93.4 93.6
December 2007 97.9 93.2 91.6 91.7
January 2008 95.7 104.9 94.3 92.3
February 2008 94.7 102.5 92.2 91.7
March 2008 95.9 105.7 93.3 90.6
April 2008 97.5 101.6 89.4 89.4
May 2008 95.4 97.9 90.3 91.7
June 2008 93.5 105.2 106.8 89.4
July 2008 97.2 107.9 111.6 86.8
August 2008 94.5 110.9 111.6 87.6
September 2008 94.4 106.3 108.2 86.1
October 2008 95.9 107.3 112.2 89.8
November 2008 93.6 109.4 110.0 88.1
December 2008 91.1 112.9 89.7 90.7
January 2009 92.1 115.1 91.7 88.3
February 2009 91.4 121.6 86.4 85.2
March 2009 88.5 118.2 64.7 84.3
April 2009 85.9 111.9 69.9 83.2
May 2009 82.4 124.7 68.1 80.7
June 2009 85.8 127.2 67.2 84.3
July 2009 86.3 128.8 62.4 83.4
August 2009 81.7 122.8 68.7 82.8
September 2009 82.1 127.7 72.7 86.4
October 2009 81.3 130.1 70.2 87.3
November 2009 82.9 130.4 80.3 87.8
December 2009 81.2 120.8 92.0 85.7
January 2010 83.6 113.8 90.3 82.0
February 2010 82.4 127.1 98.0 81.4
March 2010 83.6 131.8 89.6 87.6
April 2010 83.8 135.1 87.2 85.8
May 2010 85.4 144.8 97.8 87.9
June 2010 85.3 145.7 94.3 87.8
July 2010 86.1 140.3 94.2 89.8
August 2010 88.4 136.5 88.7 90.0
September 2010 87.3 131.9 81.0 80.1
October 2010 86.6 139.0 92.8 82.6
November 2010 86.7 148.9 92.9 87.7
December 2010 88.4 153.5 97.6 87.6
January 2011 88.4 146.5 89.1 97.8
February 2011 86.3 148.5 88.9 102.6
March 2011 87.6 146.8 104.3 99.2
April 2011 88.1 151.6 101.8 95.2
May 2011 86.9 135.6 102.8 94.5
June 2011 85.4 145.7 103.2 96.5
July 2011 87.7 151.0 105.1 100.9
August 2011 89.5 154.0 123.7 106.1
September 2011 89.9 155.4 123.9 106.2
October 2011 89.1 151.4 124.1 106.2
November 2011 87.9 151.7 123.7 104.0
December 2011 88.0 153.1 120.6 105.7
January 2012 87.9 159.9 121.2 111.1
February 2012 86.0 156.4 123.7 109.6
March 2012 85.1 145.7 127.9 109.4
April 2012 84.8 155.0 118.7 113.7
May 2012 82.4 162.0 110.3 116.3
June 2012 79.6 158.9 110.0 116.0
July 2012 78.0 160.8 104.6 114.8
August 2012 76.5 160.3 102.6 114.1
September 2012 76.6 158.9 106.3 111.1
October 2012 80.9 161.4 102.4 105.5
November 2012 83.7 155.6 105.0 110.0
December 2012 82.1 163.5 104.9 115.0
January 2013 83.0 162.6 111.9 116.4
February 2013 83.9 161.9 116.3 117.1
March 2013 84.7 166.4 109.7 121.3
April 2013 84.1 161.8 109.5 117.6
May 2013 86.2 154.5 104.7 115.6
June 2013 87.0 159.6 100.2 115.8
July 2013 88.2 163.0 105.9 115.8
August 2013 88.4 172.6 111.6 119.9
September 2013 88.7 168.8 113.4 122.4
October 2013 86.9 173.3 116.6 127.0
November 2013 86.7 178.6 109.4 126.1
December 2013 87.8 177.7 105.7 119.7
January 2014 87.7 175.9 121.2 123.5
February 2014 88.8 175.7 125.5 125.3
March 2014 88.7 179.5 130.7 127.8
April 2014 88.6 182.1 138.5 127.6
May 2014 89.6 183.1 135.5 132.1
June 2014 91.3 186.2 129.6 134.3
July 2014 90.3 180.2 122.1 133.5
August 2014 86.8 178.3 113.4 134.0
September 2014 89.8 188.1 114.7 135.1
October 2014 90.6 195.0 115.3 136.4
November 2014 90.6 186.4 117.3 136.7
December 2014 89.1 184.4 114.3 137.1
January 2015 89.6 196.4 94.8 135.8
February 2015 88.6 206.3 79.6 137.4
March 2015 87.1 199.9 65.1 134.3
April 2015 86.6 183.0 73.9 142.2
May 2015 85.2 182.4 81.9 137.4
June 2015 85.3 194.5 85.2 137.2
July 2015 85.4 213.2 81.8 146.6
August 2015 86.6 214.7 85.3 153.0
September 2015 87.2 191.7 78.2 149.9
October 2015 85.3 199.2 80.2 144.3
November 2015 86.6 204.3 80.4 150.8
December 2015 86.8 204.8 77.2 154.3
January 2016 87.1 210.1 78.7 163.2
February 2016 87.4 206.5 74.7 159.2
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 379-0031.

Service industries supported growth through the second half of 2015, led by transportation and warehousing, real estate, and retail trade. Finance and insurance industries increased output by 4.5% in 2015, while real estate and rental and leasing increased 3.2%.  

Real GDP edged down 0.1% in February on lower goods production.

Full-time employment growth moderated

Total employment increased by 64,000 (+0.4%) in the last six months of 2015 on gains in  part-time work and self employment. Full-time employment was little changed during the second half of the year after notable gains in the first six months (+123,000). Individuals aged 55 and older  accounted for all of the net gain in employment from June to December, as both youth and core-age employment declined. 

Chart 6 Employment by sector

Description for Chart 6
Chart 6 Employment, by sector, year-over-year change (thousands of persons)
  Total employed, all industries Goods-producing sector Services-producing sector
January 2007 400.7 81.5 319.2
February 2007 382.8 23.4 359.3
March 2007 380.5 1.6 378.8
April 2007 335.9 -34.2 370.0
May 2007 282.2 -16.4 298.6
June 2007 335.6 -17.9 353.6
July 2007 376.2 12.3 363.9
August 2007 378.2 45.2 333.0
September 2007 398.4 8.8 389.6
October 2007 431.5 -9.0 440.5
November 2007 420.3 -35.6 456.0
December 2007 359.4 -62.7 422.0
January 2008 331.3 -47.5 378.8
February 2008 355.6 -10.9 366.5
March 2008 292.1 4.7 287.4
April 2008 326.7 26.2 300.6
May 2008 308.6 22.9 285.7
June 2008 244.6 28.7 215.9
July 2008 193.1 5.3 187.8
August 2008 204.2 -7.8 212.0
September 2008 220.5 16.9 203.6
October 2008 193.5 5.3 188.2
November 2008 55.7 -26.1 81.8
December 2008 21.3 -28.6 49.9
January 2009 -129.4 -149.5 20.1
February 2009 -227.4 -212.3 -15.1
March 2009 -230.3 -221.5 -8.8
April 2009 -292.9 -269.1 -23.8
May 2009 -323.9 -315.5 -8.4
June 2009 -326.6 -308.0 -18.6
July 2009 -317.3 -301.2 -16.2
August 2009 -327.8 -303.2 -24.6
September 2009 -361.3 -280.4 -80.9
October 2009 -382.2 -267.6 -114.7
November 2009 -180.2 -225.1 44.9
December 2009 -164.5 -216.8 52.3
January 2010 4.9 -118.8 123.7
February 2010 74.7 -65.9 140.5
March 2010 105.4 -55.1 160.6
April 2010 225.1 -5.3 230.4
May 2010 266.0 51.7 214.3
June 2010 345.6 66.7 278.9
July 2010 336.3 50.0 286.4
August 2010 342.3 47.3 295.0
September 2010 279.1 0.9 278.2
October 2010 306.8 18.1 288.8
November 2010 257.4 35.1 222.3
December 2010 307.9 55.0 252.8
January 2011 315.4 78.2 237.2
February 2011 294.9 86.1 208.9
March 2011 305.4 104.8 200.5
April 2011 265.0 91.1 173.9
May 2011 232.9 76.1 156.9
June 2011 210.2 67.4 142.9
July 2011 238.8 73.1 165.7
August 2011 250.9 72.9 178.0
September 2011 294.6 84.3 210.2
October 2011 239.3 63.7 175.6
November 2011 202.6 70.7 131.9
December 2011 200.8 59.9 141.0
January 2012 121.9 22.0 99.8
February 2012 122.9 31.7 91.2
March 2012 194.0 36.0 158.0
April 2012 250.7 81.5 169.2
May 2012 246.7 73.1 173.5
June 2012 222.7 84.0 138.6
July 2012 179.2 91.0 88.1
August 2012 200.6 92.5 108.1
September 2012 227.2 110.8 116.5
October 2012 266.7 107.6 159.0
November 2012 301.4 96.2 205.2
December 2012 312.1 103.6 208.5
January 2013 351.4 92.5 259.0
February 2013 377.6 75.6 302.0
March 2013 253.0 58.6 194.4
April 2013 192.9 28.3 164.5
May 2013 253.6 32.4 221.2
June 2013 236.0 21.7 214.3
July 2013 255.5 14.0 241.6
August 2013 247.4 16.2 231.2
September 2013 216.8 -0.9 217.7
October 2013 206.6 18.2 188.5
November 2013 183.5 -10.6 194.1
December 2013 130.9 -50.1 181.0
January 2014 131.8 6.1 125.6
February 2014 114.4 2.6 111.8
March 2014 170.2 22.2 148.0
April 2014 121.8 -28.6 150.5
May 2014 67.6 -50.0 117.6
June 2014 81.9 -27.5 109.4
July 2014 110.8 -26.5 137.2
August 2014 57.2 -48.7 106.0
September 2014 90.4 -28.0 118.3
October 2014 140.8 -13.4 154.3
November 2014 119.4 -7.1 126.5
December 2014 120.1 30.6 89.4
January 2015 130.9 2.1 128.9
February 2015 129.7 -23.6 153.2
March 2015 133.4 -54.9 188.3
April 2015 132.4 -31.5 163.8
May 2015 196.4 5.7 190.8
June 2015 176.4 -13.2 189.6
July 2015 156.7 -29.8 186.6
August 2015 190.8 -11.7 202.4
September 2015 159.1 -26.2 185.4
October 2015 142.4 -57.0 199.3
November 2015 124.8 -5.1 129.9
December 2015 155.4 -17.0 172.4
January 2016 125.5 -43.7 169.2
February 2016 117.9 17.7 100.3
March 2016 129.6 1.7 127.9
April 2016 144.0 -27.5 171.6
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 282-0088.

Employment gains during the second half of 2015 were led by increases in health care and social assistance and in professional, scientific and technical services. Employment in manufacturing edged up late in the year.   

Chart 7 Employment by type

Description for Chart 7
Chart 7 Type of employment , year-over-year change (thousands of persons)
  Full-time Part-time
January 2007 287.7 113.0
February 2007 324.8 58.0
March 2007 308.7 71.8
April 2007 247.1 88.8
May 2007 160.5 121.6
June 2007 332.8 2.8
July 2007 314.7 61.6
August 2007 267.5 110.7
September 2007 299.5 98.9
October 2007 270.1 161.4
November 2007 296.1 124.3
December 2007 265.0 94.4
January 2008 279.7 51.6
February 2008 311.5 44.1
March 2008 249.1 43.0
April 2008 289.7 37.1
May 2008 204.1 104.5
June 2008 83.2 161.4
July 2008 86.0 107.2
August 2008 139.9 64.3
September 2008 114.5 106.1
October 2008 124.7 68.9
November 2008 23.2 32.5
December 2008 -50.2 71.5
January 2009 -185.2 55.8
February 2009 -365.5 138.1
March 2009 -369.0 138.7
April 2009 -391.4 98.5
May 2009 -416.0 92.2
June 2009 -436.9 110.3
July 2009 -402.7 85.2
August 2009 -482.6 154.8
September 2009 -372.1 10.8
October 2009 -364.1 -18.3
November 2009 -221.0 40.8
December 2009 -166.0 1.5
January 2010 -67.4 72.3
February 2010 118.4 -43.7
March 2010 89.3 16.1
April 2010 138.3 86.7
May 2010 230.7 35.2
June 2010 303.0 42.6
July 2010 118.4 218.0
August 2010 206.9 135.4
September 2010 134.8 144.3
October 2010 159.5 147.3
November 2010 113.6 143.9
December 2010 180.3 127.5
January 2011 209.7 105.6
February 2011 96.4 198.5
March 2011 260.8 44.5
April 2011 236.1 28.9
May 2011 193.8 39.2
June 2011 186.6 23.6
July 2011 382.9 -144.1
August 2011 353.2 -102.2
September 2011 360.4 -65.8
October 2011 232.8 6.5
November 2011 269.2 -66.7
December 2011 231.2 -30.2
January 2012 190.4 -68.5
February 2012 229.0 -106.1
March 2012 212.3 -18.2
April 2012 250.8 -0.1
May 2012 225.5 21.2
June 2012 237.4 -14.8
July 2012 213.0 -33.9
August 2012 203.5 -2.9
September 2012 188.4 38.8
October 2012 288.2 -21.4
November 2012 253.4 48.0
December 2012 273.2 38.8
January 2013 289.5 62.1
February 2013 327.2 50.4
March 2013 195.4 57.6
April 2013 183.2 9.7
May 2013 275.1 -21.6
June 2013 199.9 36.3
July 2013 159.2 96.4
August 2013 153.5 93.8
September 2013 167.6 49.2
October 2013 172.5 34.1
November 2013 136.4 47.2
December 2013 52.4 78.5
January 2014 70.9 60.7
February 2014 73.6 40.8
March 2014 109.2 61.0
April 2014 55.5 66.3
May 2014 -63.9 131.6
June 2014 25.1 56.7
July 2014 17.1 93.6
August 2014 -5.8 63.0
September 2014 20.5 69.9
October 2014 24.7 116.1
November 2014 66.9 52.5
December 2014 156.3 -36.2
January 2015 114.2 16.7
February 2015 120.9 8.8
March 2015 116.7 16.7
April 2015 167.5 -35.1
May 2015 240.3 -43.9
June 2015 243.4 -67.1
July 2015 258.2 -101.4
August 2015 318.9 -128.1
September 2015 195.7 -36.6
October 2015 178.7 -36.2
November 2015 197.8 -73.1
December 2015 147.4 8.0
January 2016 171.5 -45.9
February 2016 81.6 36.3
March 2016 133.7 -4.1
April 2016 88.2 55.9
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 282-0087.

All of the net growth in employment during the last half of the year occurred in central Canada and British Columbia. Employment in Alberta declined by 15,000 in the second half of the year, as the province’s unemployment rate increased from 5.8% in June to 7.0%. Saskatchewan’s  unemployment rate also rose during the second half and was 5.5% at year end. In January 2015, the unemployment rates in Saskatchewan and Alberta had been 4.5% and 4.6% respectively.  The unemployment rate in Ontario remained under 7% throughout the year.

Chart 8 Employment, selected provinces

Description for Chart 8
Chart 8 Employment, selected provinces , index (January 2013=100)
  Alberta Ontario Quebec British Columbia
January 2013 100 100 100 100
February 2013 99.8 100.2 99.8 100.9
March 2013 99.9 100.2 99.3 100.1
April 2013 100.1 100.3 99.7 100.8
May 2013 100.9 100.8 99.7 100.7
June 2013 100.7 100.8 99.5 100.7
July 2013 101.0 100.8 99.3 100.6
August 2013 102.2 101.1 99.1 101.2
September 2013 101.8 101.2 99.5 100.8
October 2013 101.6 101.1 100.1 100.5
November 2013 101.9 101.3 100.3 100.1
December 2013 101.7 101.1 100.0 100.8
January 2014 101.7 101.1 100.1 101.2
February 2014 102.6 101.4 99.3 101.0
March 2014 102.5 101.5 99.8 101.3
April 2014 102.5 101.6 99.2 101.4
May 2014 102.9 101.4 99.1 101.3
June 2014 103.5 101.1 99.6 101.4
July 2014 103.3 101.5 99.6 101.2
August 2014 102.8 101.5 99.7 100.9
September 2014 103.4 101.7 99.8 101.0
October 2014 103.9 102.4 99.6 101.0
November 2014 104.1 101.9 100.0 101.3
December 2014 104.6 101.6 99.7 101.5
January 2015 104.9 101.7 100.1 101.7
February 2015 104.3 101.9 100.5 101.4
March 2015 104.5 101.9 100.6 101.6
April 2015 105.0 101.7 100.9 100.5
May 2015 104.6 102.3 100.8 102.0
June 2015 104.4 102.5 100.1 102.7
July 2015 104.3 102.5 100.6 102.5
August 2015 104.6 102.5 100.6 102.8
September 2015 104.9 102.1 100.8 103.2
October 2015 104.3 102.5 100.7 104.2
November 2015 103.9 102.4 100.6 104.1
December 2015 103.7 102.9 100.9 103.8
January 2016 103.3 103.2 100.8 103.8
February 2016 103.4 103.0 100.9 104.4
March 2016 104.2 103.2 100.7 104.8
April 2016 103.3 103.2 100.7 105.4
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 282-0087.

Chart 9 Unemployment rate, selected provinces

Description for Chart 9
Chart 9 Unemployment rate, selected provinces, percent
  Alberta Ontario Quebec Saskatchewan British Columbia
January 2013 4.5 7.7 7.3 3.8 6.7
February 2013 4.7 7.8 7.3 3.8 6.4
March 2013 4.7 7.8 7.7 3.9 7.2
April 2013 4.4 7.7 7.7 4.1 6.5
May 2013 4.5 7.5 7.5 4.4 6.6
June 2013 4.8 7.6 7.7 4.1 6.5
July 2013 4.6 7.6 7.8 4.3 6.6
August 2013 4.7 7.5 7.7 4.2 6.6
September 2013 4.3 7.3 7.8 4.5 6.4
October 2013 4.5 7.5 7.7 3.8 6.6
November 2013 4.8 7.3 7.4 4.1 6.6
December 2013 4.8 7.7 7.7 4.1 6.7
January 2014 4.7 7.4 7.6 4.3 6.4
February 2014 4.4 7.5 8.0 4.0 6.4
March 2014 5.0 7.3 7.7 4.6 6.0
April 2014 5.0 7.3 7.8 3.5 6.0
May 2014 4.6 7.3 7.8 3.8 6.2
June 2014 4.9 7.4 7.9 3.7 6.1
July 2014 4.6 7.6 8.1 3.2 6.1
August 2014 5.2 7.3 7.6 4.2 6.3
September 2014 4.6 7.1 7.8 3.5 6.2
October 2014 4.4 6.7 7.6 3.6 6.2
November 2014 4.4 7.0 7.7 3.5 5.8
December 2014 4.8 7.0 7.5 3.8 5.4
January 2015 4.6 6.8 7.4 4.5 5.6
February 2015 5.4 6.9 7.4 5.1 6.1
March 2015 5.6 6.9 7.5 4.5 5.9
April 2015 5.6 6.8 7.5 4.4 6.3
May 2015 5.9 6.5 7.7 5.0 6.1
June 2015 5.8 6.5 8.0 4.8 5.9
July 2015 6.2 6.5 7.7 5.2 6.0
August 2015 6.1 6.8 8.0 4.8 6.2
September 2015 6.6 6.9 7.7 5.2 6.4
October 2015 6.6 6.8 7.6 5.7 6.4
November 2015 6.9 6.9 7.5 5.4 6.2
December 2015 7.0 6.7 7.9 5.5 6.7
January 2016 7.4 6.7 7.6 5.6 6.6
February 2016 7.9 6.8 7.6 5.9 6.6
March 2016 7.1 6.8 7.5 6.2 6.5
April 2016 7.2 7.0 7.5 6.3 5.8
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 282-0087.

For 2015 as whole, employment increased by 155,000 (+0.9%) on gains in services, in full-time work, and among workers aged 55 and older. Total employment in British Columbia increased by 52,000 in 2015 while employment in Alberta declined by 20,000.      

More recently, total employment rose by 33,000 in the first quarter of 2016 on gains in British Columbia (+24,000) and Ontario (+23,000). The unemployment rate in Alberta reached 7.9% in February before declining to 7.1% in March as employment increased in services.

Total employment was unchanged in April, as declines in Alberta were offset by gains in British Columbia. Employment in manufacturing declined by 52,000 during the first four months of the year.   

Stronger non-energy exports improved trade balances in late 2015

Canada continued to post merchandise trade deficits through the second half of 2015 as lower surpluses for energy products, on signficantly lower prices, continued to weigh on trade balances. For 2015 as a whole, merchandise imports exceeded exports by $22.4 billion as the trade surplus on energy products declined from $85.5 billion in 2014 to $53.1 billion in 2015. Total exports increased in the second half of 2015, supported by motor vehicles and parts and consumer goods.

Monthly exports of energy products averaged $6.4 billion during the second half of 2015, down from $7.5 billion during the first six months of the year. Lower export prices for energy accounted for the decline, as average monthly export volumes, measured in chained 2007 dollars, were similar in both six-month periods.

Chart 10 Merchandise exports by commodity group

Description for Chart 10
Chart 10 Merchandise export by commodity group , index (January 2007=100)
  Total Energy Non-energy
January 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 2007 98.3 109.9 96.0
March 2007 102.1 110.4 100.4
April 2007 102.6 111.0 100.9
May 2007 100.6 110.0 98.7
June 2007 97.3 104.4 95.9
July 2007 95.9 98.3 95.4
August 2007 96.1 106.0 94.2
September 2007 93.7 109.3 90.6
October 2007 92.5 111.1 88.9
November 2007 95.1 115.9 90.9
December 2007 91.0 117.4 85.8
January 2008 95.0 128.2 88.4
February 2008 98.5 138.8 90.5
March 2008 101.4 150.2 91.7
April 2008 103.2 159.9 92.0
May 2008 108.7 170.9 96.4
June 2008 110.3 184.0 95.7
July 2008 112.5 185.3 98.1
August 2008 108.4 168.2 96.6
September 2008 105.5 158.8 94.9
October 2008 105.2 147.6 96.8
November 2008 96.7 120.3 92.0
December 2008 85.3 93.5 83.7
January 2009 77.2 88.9 74.8
February 2009 81.7 89.9 80.1
March 2009 81.0 91.3 78.9
April 2009 76.6 83.6 75.2
May 2009 70.3 79.0 68.5
June 2009 74.1 94.4 70.0
July 2009 77.6 95.2 74.1
August 2009 74.0 94.7 69.9
September 2009 75.9 96.2 71.9
October 2009 78.4 103.5 73.4
November 2009 79.6 108.5 73.9
December 2009 81.1 113.0 74.8
January 2010 81.7 113.1 75.5
February 2010 83.6 112.3 77.9
March 2010 82.6 108.2 77.6
April 2010 83.1 105.0 78.7
May 2010 85.2 107.4 80.8
June 2010 84.3 100.2 81.2
July 2010 83.5 101.6 79.9
August 2010 85.7 100.8 82.7
September 2010 84.0 99.1 81.1
October 2010 86.4 100.5 83.6
November 2010 87.7 106.6 84.0
December 2010 92.3 124.2 86.0
January 2011 94.8 129.6 87.9
February 2011 90.1 119.3 84.3
March 2011 91.8 125.1 85.2
April 2011 93.0 130.5 85.5
May 2011 92.6 128.7 85.4
June 2011 91.7 126.4 84.8
July 2011 95.1 126.1 89.0
August 2011 97.8 127.6 91.9
September 2011 100.7 138.8 93.2
October 2011 98.7 138.1 90.9
November 2011 101.4 147.7 92.2
December 2011 105.6 149.3 96.9
January 2012 100.2 149.0 90.5
February 2012 100.0 146.3 90.9
March 2012 96.8 134.7 89.3
April 2012 97.4 131.9 90.6
May 2012 97.3 126.1 91.6
June 2012 96.4 125.4 90.7
July 2012 94.7 118.8 90.0
August 2012 95.9 125.7 90.1
September 2012 95.6 127.7 89.3
October 2012 96.7 133.5 89.4
November 2012 97.2 136.3 89.4
December 2012 97.2 132.3 90.2
January 2013 98.3 136.2 90.8
February 2013 99.7 137.1 92.3
March 2013 100.5 140.0 92.7
April 2013 102.0 139.1 94.7
May 2013 99.8 139.5 92.0
June 2013 100.1 140.5 92.2
July 2013 98.4 145.9 89.0
August 2013 103.3 160.5 92.0
September 2013 103.8 160.1 92.7
October 2013 102.0 154.7 91.5
November 2013 102.0 146.1 93.3
December 2013 102.9 151.6 93.3
January 2014 103.4 164.0 91.4
February 2014 108.8 179.7 94.8
March 2014 110.5 183.2 96.1
April 2014 109.5 162.3 99.0
May 2014 114.2 175.6 102.0
June 2014 113.4 174.0 101.5
July 2014 115.4 176.0 103.4
August 2014 113.6 163.5 103.7
September 2014 112.7 158.5 103.6
October 2014 112.5 152.5 104.6
November 2014 111.0 152.1 102.8
December 2014 110.7 128.0 107.3
January 2015 108.2 114.0 107.1
February 2015 108.2 119.9 105.9
March 2015 109.1 109.2 109.1
April 2015 108.0 113.2 107.0
May 2015 107.6 115.9 105.9
June 2015 113.0 119.1 111.8
July 2015 116.1 113.3 116.6
August 2015 112.5 103.7 114.3
September 2015 111.2 97.9 113.9
October 2015 109.4 97.1 111.8
November 2015 109.7 90.4 113.5
December 2015 113.8 89.3 118.6
January 2016 116.4 85.5 122.5
February 2016 108.7 69.5 116.5
March 2016 103.5 66.5 110.8
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 228-0059.

After declines from August to October, total exports increased from November to January on the strength of non-energy commodities. Exports of motor vehicles and parts supported gains in each of these months, largely on higher volumes.

Chart 11 Merchandise exports, selected commodities

Description for Chart 11
Chart 11 Merchandise exports, selected commodities, billions of dollars
  Energy - current dollars Energy - chained 2007 dollars Motor vehicles and parts - current dollars Motor vehicles and parts - chained 2007 dollars
January 2007 6.5 6.9 7.1 6.7
February 2007 7.2 7.0 6.9 6.5
March 2007 7.2 7.0 7.4 7.0
April 2007 7.3 7.1 7.1 6.9
May 2007 7.2 7.3 6.7 6.6
June 2007 6.8 7.1 6.3 6.3
July 2007 6.4 6.8 6.5 6.6
August 2007 6.9 7.4 6.1 6.1
September 2007 7.1 7.5 6.2 6.3
October 2007 7.3 7.2 6.0 6.4
November 2007 7.6 7.0 6.0 6.5
December 2007 7.7 6.8 5.5 5.7
January 2008 8.4 7.3 5.0 5.2
February 2008 9.1 7.3 5.7 6.1
March 2008 9.8 7.3 5.5 5.7
April 2008 10.4 7.3 5.2 5.4
May 2008 11.2 7.3 5.0 5.2
June 2008 12.0 7.4 5.4 5.5
July 2008 12.1 7.3 5.3 5.4
August 2008 11.0 7.4 5.2 5.1
September 2008 10.4 7.4 5.0 4.9
October 2008 9.6 7.7 4.7 4.2
November 2008 7.9 7.6 4.8 4.3
December 2008 6.1 7.1 4.4 3.9
January 2009 5.8 7.1 2.7 2.4
February 2009 5.9 7.2 3.5 3.1
March 2009 6.0 7.2 3.5 3.0
April 2009 5.5 6.9 3.7 3.3
May 2009 5.2 6.4 2.9 2.7
June 2009 6.2 7.1 2.9 2.8
July 2009 6.2 7.5 3.7 3.5
August 2009 6.2 7.2 3.8 3.7
September 2009 6.3 7.1 4.3 4.2
October 2009 6.8 7.0 4.3 4.3
November 2009 7.1 7.0 4.3 4.2
December 2009 7.4 7.1 4.7 4.6
January 2010 7.4 6.8 4.2 4.2
February 2010 7.3 6.7 4.6 4.6
March 2010 7.1 6.8 4.7 4.8
April 2010 6.9 7.0 4.7 4.8
May 2010 7.0 7.7 5.1 5.1
June 2010 6.5 7.2 5.2 5.2
July 2010 6.6 7.2 5.0 5.0
August 2010 6.6 7.1 5.2 5.2
September 2010 6.5 7.0 4.9 5.0
October 2010 6.6 7.1 4.8 4.9
November 2010 7.0 7.2 4.5 4.6
December 2010 8.1 7.6 4.5 4.6
January 2011 8.5 7.9 5.5 5.6
February 2011 7.8 7.6 4.8 4.9
March 2011 8.2 7.7 4.9 5.1
April 2011 8.5 7.5 4.8 5.1
May 2011 8.4 7.4 4.8 5.0
June 2011 8.3 7.4 4.4 4.6
July 2011 8.2 7.6 4.9 5.1
August 2011 8.3 8.1 4.6 4.8
September 2011 9.1 8.3 4.9 5.0
October 2011 9.0 8.0 5.1 5.1
November 2011 9.6 8.0 5.1 5.1
December 2011 9.8 7.9 5.6 5.6
January 2012 9.7 8.2 6.1 6.1
February 2012 9.6 8.4 5.6 5.8
March 2012 8.8 8.1 5.4 5.5
April 2012 8.6 8.5 5.7 5.8
May 2012 8.2 8.1 5.6 5.7
June 2012 8.2 8.3 6.0 5.9
July 2012 7.8 8.1 5.8 5.8
August 2012 8.2 8.2 5.9 6.0
September 2012 8.3 8.2 5.6 5.7
October 2012 8.7 7.9 5.6 5.7
November 2012 8.9 8.4 5.8 5.9
December 2012 8.6 8.1 5.5 5.6
January 2013 8.9 8.4 5.2 5.4
February 2013 9.0 8.4 5.6 5.7
March 2013 9.1 8.5 5.9 5.9
April 2013 9.1 8.4 5.7 5.7
May 2013 9.1 8.3 5.5 5.5
June 2013 9.2 8.3 5.8 5.7
July 2013 9.5 8.2 5.5 5.4
August 2013 10.5 8.7 5.8 5.6
September 2013 10.5 8.8 5.8 5.6
October 2013 10.1 8.9 5.5 5.3
November 2013 9.5 8.7 5.9 5.7
December 2013 9.9 8.7 5.9 5.6
January 2014 10.7 8.6 5.3 5.0
February 2014 11.7 8.4 5.9 5.5
March 2014 12.0 8.7 5.9 5.5
April 2014 10.6 8.4 6.1 5.6
May 2014 11.5 9.0 6.6 6.2
June 2014 11.4 8.9 6.2 5.8
July 2014 11.5 9.0 6.6 6.3
August 2014 10.7 8.9 6.1 5.7
September 2014 10.4 8.8 6.4 5.8
October 2014 10.0 8.8 6.4 5.8
November 2014 9.9 8.9 6.4 5.7
December 2014 8.4 8.9 6.6 5.8
January 2015 7.4 9.3 6.6 5.7
February 2015 7.8 9.4 5.9 5.0
March 2015 7.1 9.1 6.8 5.6
April 2015 7.4 9.4 6.9 5.7
May 2015 7.6 9.1 7.0 5.8
June 2015 7.8 9.0 6.9 5.7
July 2015 7.4 9.1 7.7 6.1
August 2015 6.8 9.5 7.8 6.1
September 2015 6.4 9.6 7.6 5.9
October 2015 6.3 9.4 7.6 5.9
November 2015 5.9 8.6 8.0 6.2
December 2015 5.8 9.1 8.4 6.3
January 2016 5.6 9.7 9.1 6.8
February 2016 4.5 9.3 8.6 6.6
March 2016 4.3 9.4 8.1 6.4
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM tables 228-0059 and 228-0061.

In February, exports fell 6.6% as both energy and non-energy exports declined. Volumes of energy products, motor vehicles and parts, forestry products and building and packaging materials, and consumer goods were all down after advancing in January. Exports declined a further 4.8% in March on broad-based declines across commodities.   

Automotive shipments supported manufacturing sales in late 2015

Total manufacturing sales were 1.9% higher in the second half of 2015 than in the first half of the year, as shipments of durable goods strengthened. Transportation equipment and wood products supported the increase in durables. Sales of motor vehicle manufacturers increased  from October to January, partly reflecting the production of higher value models. Sales of non-durables edged down 0.4% in the second half of the year, as gains among food manufacturers (+3.6%) were offset by lower sales from petroleum and coal product manufacturers (-10.5%).  

Manufacturers in Ontario, on stronger automotive shipments, supported overall gains in manufacturing in late 2015 and into the new year. Shipments in Alberta continued to trend lower, as receipts from petroleum and coal manufacturing weighed on sales.  

Chart 12 Manufacturing sales, selected provinces

Description for Chart 12
Chart 12 Manufacturing sales, selected provinces , index (January 2013 = 100)
  Quebec Ontario Alberta British Columbia
January 2013 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 2013 103.7 101.8 102.0 99.8
March 2013 102.2 101.6 100.4 101.3
April 2013 98.3 100.4 101.9 100.5
May 2013 94.8 101.9 103.4 101.7
June 2013 97.9 101.3 100.2 97.9
July 2013 99.8 100.3 104.0 99.5
August 2013 103.2 100.9 107.6 100.3
September 2013 99.9 102.1 104.2 101.9
October 2013 103.3 102.1 103.6 103.6
November 2013 102.1 103.9 106.0 107.1
December 2013 102.1 103.5 103.2 103.3
January 2014 105.2 101.6 107.6 106.8
February 2014 105.7 105.7 109.6 102.6
March 2014 105.1 106.4 110.5 101.6
April 2014 106.7 106.7 111.5 106.5
May 2014 104.9 109.5 111.0 109.8
June 2014 105.9 108.5 114.2 109.2
July 2014 109.3 110.8 114.3 109.3
August 2014 107.1 106.7 112.0 110.3
September 2014 111.6 110.3 112.8 111.1
October 2014 109.4 109.4 113.2 111.2
November 2014 105.9 107.4 106.8 109.6
December 2014 107.7 112.1 105.9 114.1
January 2015 106.8 107.2 98.0 110.8
February 2015 102.1 104.0 98.6 113.5
March 2015 107.1 108.0 98.0 109.9
April 2015 104.8 107.1 96.9 110.0
May 2015 106.1 107.2 97.8 109.6
June 2015 109.5 108.1 100.0 110.5
July 2015 108.1 113.2 97.6 111.1
August 2015 107.3 113.4 95.3 109.8
September 2015 106.8 110.9 94.2 109.7
October 2015 104.4 111.7 91.1 109.8
November 2015 106.5 113.3 90.8 110.5
December 2015 108.4 115.2 87.9 111.2
January 2016 109.0 120.5 84.7 111.6
February 2016 104.6 116.6 85.0 111.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 304-0015.

For 2015 as a whole, Canadian manufacturing sales were down 1.5%, reflecting a 29% decline in the annual sales of petroleum and coal products manufacturers. Excluding petroleum and coal, annual manufacturing sales increased 2.7% in 2015. Shipments of motor vehicle manufactures rose 8.8% in 2015, compared to 5.7% in the previous year.   

Retail sales increased in early 2016  

Total retail sales were 2.7% higher in the last six months of 2015 than in the first half of the year, as sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, and general merchandise stores supported the gain. Excluding sales at gasoline stations, retail sales increased 3.0% during the last half of the year. Sales in Ontario and British Columbia supported the growth in retail spending, while sales in Alberta and Saskatchewan remained below levels reported in mid 2014. 

Chart 13 Retail sales, selected provinces

Description for Chart 13
Chart 13 Retail sales, selected provinces , index (January 2013=100)
  Ontario Alberta British Columbia Quebec Saskatchewan
January 2013 100 100 100 100 100
February 2013 100.4 101.7 99.3 100.3 101.1
March 2013 101.3 100.5 101.3 99.8 97.3
April 2013 100.4 103.1 99.7 98.2 98.9
May 2013 101.6 104.6 100.4 101.3 102.4
June 2013 100.4 103.1 100.8 100.0 104.7
July 2013 102.4 103.3 102.1 101.6 100.8
August 2013 103.6 104.2 102.7 101.5 101.5
September 2013 103.3 105.0 102.7 101.0 102.2
October 2013 103.2 106.2 103.7 101.5 102.1
November 2013 102.8 106.6 103.6 102.0 103.3
December 2013 102.8 106.4 103.3 101.7 101.2
January 2014 103.0 109.7 103.7 100.1 107.4
February 2014 104.3 110.3 102.2 101.3 107.1
March 2014 103.6 110.6 105.0 100.7 107.9
April 2014 106.7 110.0 106.8 102.4 105.6
May 2014 106.0 110.1 106.1 104.0 105.7
June 2014 107.6 112.2 108.4 104.4 105.6
July 2014 108.3 112.7 108.8 103.5 106.7
August 2014 108.0 112.0 108.7 103.3 105.9
September 2014 108.8 113.3 109.0 103.5 106.6
October 2014 109.5 113.3 109.6 102.5 106.0
November 2014 109.3 112.0 110.9 102.1 103.9
December 2014 108.5 111.7 109.2 102.0 103.2
January 2015 105.2 105.2 107.1 99.6 100.2
February 2015 106.9 106.0 112.5 101.8 102.6
March 2015 109.9 107.3 112.4 103.1 102.6
April 2015 110.0 105.7 112.2 102.4 103.5
May 2015 111.3 106.6 113.4 102.3 103.8
June 2015 112.0 107.2 114.7 102.9 102.8
July 2015 113.0 107.3 114.3 103.3 102.1
August 2015 113.1 107.3 115.6 104.2 102.6
September 2015 113.1 106.5 116.0 104.1 101.4
October 2015 113.6 106.0 115.6 104.7 101.8
November 2015 115.8 106.9 117.5 105.0 101.9
December 2015 113.4 104.8 114.8 103.1 101.9
January 2016 116.0 104.4 118.1 106.1 103.4
February 2016 116.8 104.1 119.2 106.4 103.0
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 080-0020.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers trended higher into early 2016, and, as of February 2016, have increased in 12 of the last 13 months.  Measured year-over-year, unit sales of new motor vehicles rose 8.9% in Febuary, bolstered by increases in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.Note 1 In Alberta, new vehicle unit sales, measured year-over-year, posted double-digit percentage declines from May to January.

Multi-family dwellings supported housing starts

Monthly housing starts averaged 203,400 units (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) in the second  half of 2015, up from 183,900 during the first six months of the year. Average monthly starts during the second half increased in Ontario and Quebec and declined in Alberta.

Ground-breaking on new homes slowed into 2016 on lower multi-family starts in Ontario. Starts rebounded in February and March as apartments and apartment condominiums strengthened following modest increases during the previous two months. Gains in Toronto supported starts in February and March. Starts in Alberta continued to slow in early 2016 as apartments and apartment condominiums moderated.

Total starts edged down to 191,500 in April, from 202,400 in March.

Investments in new housing construction shifted increasingly towards apartments and apartment condominiums in the second half of 2015. Investment spending on single units, measured year-over-year, declined from June 2015 to February 2016. In the twelve months to February 2016, investment spending on single units was down 4.3%, while capital spending on double units was down 18.1%. In contrast, capital outlays on apartments and apartment condominiums increased 24.8% in the twelve months to February, and have increased in double-digits, year-over-year, for ten consecutive months.   

Monthly residential building permits averaged $4.5 billion during the last six months of the year, compared to $4.4 billion in the first half of 2015. Measured year-over-year, new home prices edged up towards the end of 2015, supported by higher prices in Ontario and British Columbia. New home prices in Toronto rose 4.4% in the twelve months to February, while prices in Vancouver increased 4.0%. New home prices in Calgary, measured year-over-year, have declined since August 2015. 

Consumer prices for durable goods increased in late 2015

CPI annual inflation edged up in late 2015 as the downward contribution from lower energy prices moderated. The headline Consumer Price Index (CPI), measured year over year, increased from 1.0% in October 2015 to 2.0% in January 2016. Excluding energy, annual inflation averaged 2.1% in the last half of 2015. 

Food prices continued to support increases in the CPI during the second half of the year. Prices for fresh fruit and fresh vegetables increased in late 2015, up 13.2% and 13.3% respectively in the twelve months to December.

The downward contribution from lower gasoline prices, measured year-over-year, moderated in late 2015. Gasoline prices in January 2016 were 2.1% higher than in January 2015, marking the first year-over-year increase in the gasoline index since October 2014.

Prices for durable goods, measured year-over-year, increased into 2016, and were up 3.4% in the twelve months to January. Prices for passenger vehicles rose 5.0% in the twelve months to February, the largest year-over-year increase since September 2010.

Chart 14 Consumer price index, selected aggregates

Description for Chart 14
Chart 14 Consumer price index, selected aggregates , year-over-year change (percent)
  Durable goods Non-durable goods Services
January 2007 -2.0 -0.4 3.0
February 2007 -1.8 2.5 3.2
March 2007 -1.7 3.5 3.2
April 2007 -1.5 2.1 3.3
May 2007 -1.1 2.4 3.2
June 2007 -0.5 2.2 3.3
July 2007 -0.5 0.9 3.7
August 2007 -1.1 -0.1 3.8
September 2007 -0.9 2.9 3.6
October 2007 -2.0 3.2 3.5
November 2007 -3.0 3.8 3.4
December 2007 -3.2 3.4 3.5
January 2008 -4.2 3.9 3.3
February 2008 -5.2 2.8 3.5
March 2008 -5.2 1.7 3.3
April 2008 -4.8 3.0 3.3
May 2008 -6.1 4.8 3.7
June 2008 -6.4 7.3 3.7
July 2008 -6.4 8.9 3.6
August 2008 -5.8 9.1 3.5
September 2008 -6.3 9.2 3.4
October 2008 -6.2 6.6 3.4
November 2008 -3.0 2.9 3.3
December 2008 -3.7 0.8 3.1
January 2009 -5.3 0.8 3.0
February 2009 -3.6 1.6 2.8
March 2009 -4.3 1.1 2.8
April 2009 -4.3 -1.7 2.5
May 2009 -2.6 -2.6 2.2
June 2009 -2.0 -3.3 2.0
July 2009 -1.9 -5.4 1.8
August 2009 -2.3 -4.3 1.7
September 2009 -3.1 -4.7 1.8
October 2009 -1.7 -2.6 1.8
November 2009 -2.8 1.6 1.5
December 2009 -2.6 2.9 1.4
January 2010 0.3 3.4 1.8
February 2010 0.0 2.1 2.0
March 2010 0.0 2.5 1.5
April 2010 0.6 3.5 1.6
May 2010 0.1 2.2 1.6
June 2010 -0.5 0.6 1.7
July 2010 -0.9 2.9 2.4
August 2010 -0.6 2.6 2.2
September 2010 0.7 2.9 2.1
October 2010 0.7 4.1 2.3
November 2010 0.0 2.8 2.6
December 2010 -0.1 4.1 2.5
January 2011 -0.5 3.9 2.6
February 2011 -0.9 4.3 2.2
March 2011 -0.1 6.0 2.9
April 2011 -1.3 7.3 2.7
May 2011 -1.0 7.6 2.8
June 2011 -2.9 7.4 2.6
July 2011 -2.0 6.6 2.1
August 2011 -1.3 6.7 2.4
September 2011 -0.9 6.5 2.7
October 2011 -0.3 6.2 2.2
November 2011 -0.7 5.7 2.2
December 2011 -1.7 4.4 2.2
January 2012 -0.7 4.6 2.2
February 2012 -1.0 4.9 2.3
March 2012 -0.9 2.9 2.3
April 2012 0.1 1.8 2.5
May 2012 -0.3 0.7 2.2
June 2012 0.5 0.7 2.2
July 2012 -0.1 0.7 2.0
August 2012 -0.2 1.6 1.8
September 2012 -0.7 1.7 1.6
October 2012 -0.7 1.6 1.6
November 2012 -1.4 0.7 1.6
December 2012 -0.8 0.4 1.6
January 2013 -1.0 -0.2 1.4
February 2013 0.7 1.3 1.5
March 2013 0.0 0.7 1.3
April 2013 -0.8 0.0 0.9
May 2013 -1.4 0.9 1.1
June 2013 0.2 1.8 1.2
July 2013 0.4 1.8 1.4
August 2013 -0.4 0.7 1.5
September 2013 0.0 0.8 1.5
October 2013 0.2 -0.4 1.5
November 2013 -0.8 1.0 1.5
December 2013 0.0 1.8 1.5
January 2014 -0.1 1.9 1.8
February 2014 -0.2 1.0 1.8
March 2014 0.6 2.3 1.7
April 2014 0.4 3.5 2.0
May 2014 0.7 3.9 2.1
June 2014 0.5 3.8 2.1
July 2014 0.1 3.2 2.1
August 2014 0.7 2.6 2.4
September 2014 -0.5 2.7 2.4
October 2014 -0.1 3.2 2.4
November 2014 0.4 2.0 2.0
December 2014 0.4 0.4 2.1
January 2015 0.1 -1.0 2.1
February 2015 -0.7 -0.9 2.3
March 2015 0.9 -1.0 2.3
April 2015 1.5 -2.1 2.0
May 2015 1.9 -1.5 1.9
June 2015 2.1 -0.8 1.9
July 2015 2.6 -0.4 1.9
August 2015 1.8 -0.2 1.8
September 2015 2.1 -1.4 1.9
October 2015 1.8 -0.8 1.9
November 2015 2.0 0.1 1.8
December 2015 2.7 1.2 1.7
January 2016 3.4 2.5 1.7
February 2016 3.4 0.4 1.6
March 2016 2.4 0.1 1.8
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 326-0020.

The headline all-items rate decelerated to 1.4% in February on lower gasoline prices. CPI annual inflation was 1.3% in March.

Equities declined on energy and metals   

After gains early in 2015, Toronto stock prices (S&P/TSX composite index) declined throughout much of the year. Equities at year end were down 16.7% from their all-time high in August 2014. The consumer staples index advanced during 2015, while energy, diversified metals and mining, and gold declined. The Canadian energy index at year end was down about 50% from August 2014, while the diversified metals and mining index was down about 60%. 

The S&P/TSX composite index declined 1.4% in January as the diversified metals, and mining and energy indexes traded lower.  However, the composite index increased 0.3% in February and 4.9% in March, the largest monthly gain since October 2011. Gains in March were broad based with notable increases in the diversified metals and mining and energy indexes.

Chart 15 S&P/TSX composite and the Canadian energy index

Description for Chart 15
Chart 15 S&P/TSX, selected indexes, index (January 2007=100)
  S&P/TSX composite index Canadian energy index Canadian diversified metals and mining index
January 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 2007 100.1 98.1 102.2
March 2007 101.0 101.2 107.5
April 2007 102.9 103.7 112.2
May 2007 107.8 111.1 127.0
June 2007 106.7 110.7 127.7
July 2007 106.4 109.8 136.8
August 2007 104.8 104.0 124.3
September 2007 108.2 107.4 137.2
October 2007 112.2 111.6 144.4
November 2007 105.0 101.5 122.8
December 2007 106.1 108.7 118.6
January 2008 100.9 101.1 111.4
February 2008 104.2 111.0 129.6
March 2008 102.4 110.9 123.3
April 2008 106.9 122.4 126.7
May 2008 112.9 135.5 133.6
June 2008 111.0 137.7 133.8
July 2008 104.3 118.1 120.2
August 2008 105.7 124.6 115.5
September 2008 90.2 97.9 82.0
October 2008 74.9 78.5 53.6
November 2008 71.1 75.6 38.5
December 2008 69.0 67.2 37.5
January 2009 66.7 63.7 37.6
February 2009 62.3 61.0 43.0
March 2009 66.9 67.2 55.8
April 2009 71.5 72.9 76.0
May 2009 79.6 85.0 87.6
June 2009 79.6 82.2 95.6
July 2009 82.8 81.7 121.1
August 2009 83.4 81.1 121.7
September 2009 87.4 89.7 138.1
October 2009 83.7 87.9 139.9
November 2009 87.8 88.7 152.5
December 2009 90.1 92.3 156.6
January 2010 85.1 86.4 148.0
February 2010 89.2 87.9 160.3
March 2010 92.4 89.7 173.1
April 2010 93.7 93.1 162.7
May 2010 90.2 88.8 143.7
June 2010 86.7 84.4 123.8
July 2010 89.9 87.6 147.4
August 2010 91.4 84.5 148.2
September 2010 94.9 88.4 179.1
October 2010 97.3 89.4 192.5
November 2010 99.4 92.6 201.1
December 2010 103.1 100.3 231.2
January 2011 104.0 105.6 233.4
February 2011 108.5 112.6 228.2
March 2011 108.3 110.8 222.9
April 2011 107.0 107.9 231.5
May 2011 105.9 104.3 223.4
June 2011 102.0 98.1 222.5
July 2011 99.3 96.4 216.2
August 2011 98.0 88.4 195.8
September 2011 89.2 75.0 130.8
October 2011 94.0 84.9 176.1
November 2011 93.6 85.0 172.4
December 2011 91.7 83.4 168.4
January 2012 95.5 87.5 185.6
February 2012 97.0 89.5 184.2
March 2012 95.1 81.9 162.8
April 2012 94.3 82.0 160.7
May 2012 88.3 73.1 133.5
June 2012 89.0 73.1 135.4
July 2012 89.5 76.6 127.5
August 2012 91.7 78.4 128.7
September 2012 94.5 80.6 139.9
October 2012 95.3 80.4 144.7
November 2012 93.9 77.4 147.3
December 2012 95.4 77.2 157.6
January 2013 97.3 79.0 156.3
February 2013 98.4 78.9 141.9
March 2013 97.8 78.6 136.3
April 2013 95.6 76.4 125.8
May 2013 97.1 78.4 129.8
June 2013 93.1 75.6 110.0
July 2013 95.8 78.9 109.5
August 2013 97.1 80.2 119.3
September 2013 98.1 81.9 124.1
October 2013 102.5 84.0 128.1
November 2013 102.8 83.1 116.7
December 2013 104.5 84.7 123.5
January 2014 105.1 83.9 127.1
February 2014 109.0 87.6 130.2
March 2014 110.0 92.1 124.4
April 2014 112.4 98.3 134.5
May 2014 112.0 97.3 132.7
June 2014 116.2 103.6 131.9
July 2014 117.6 98.6 144.7
August 2014 119.9 101.0 137.2
September 2014 114.8 90.8 124.2
October 2014 112.1 80.9 107.2
November 2014 113.1 71.5 110.2
December 2014 112.3 68.6 106.7
January 2015 112.6 67.1 94.8
February 2015 116.9 68.9 113.7
March 2015 114.3 67.5 106.4
April 2015 116.8 73.5 124.0
May 2015 115.2 68.3 113.4
June 2015 111.7 63.8 104.7
July 2015 111.0 58.1 83.1
August 2015 106.3 56.8 71.5
September 2015 102.1 51.7 55.1
October 2015 103.8 55.6 66.4
November 2015 103.3 55.0 54.6
December 2015 99.8 50.3 54.6
January 2016 98.4 49.3 43.3
February 2016 98.7 47.7 55.7
March 2016 103.5 53.0 67.3
April 2016 107.0 58.1 92.6
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 176-0047.

The Canadian dollar continued to depreciate against the U.S dollar in late 2015, ending the year at 73.0 cents U.S.Note 2 Overall, the Canadian dollar depreciated 16% relative to the U.S. dollar during 2015. On a trade-weighted basis, the Canadian dollar was down 10% relative to other major currencies over this period.

The Canadian dollar depreciated to 70.3 cents U.S. in January as prices for crude oil declined early in the year. The dollar traded at 68.69 cents U.S. on January 19th, the lowest value for the Canadian dollar since April 2003. The Canadian dollar appreciated more recently, trading over 79 cents U.S in late April.

Chart 16 Exchange rates

Description for Chart 16
Chart 16 Exchange rates
  Exchange rate CERI excluding US$ (RHS)
  CAN$/US$ CAN$/US$
January 2007 0.850 109.68
February 2007 0.854 109.32
March 2007 0.856 110.11
April 2007 0.882 113.74
May 2007 0.913 118.59
June 2007 0.939 119.26
July 2007 0.952 117.35
August 2007 0.945 118.12
September 2007 0.975 122.63
October 2007 1.025 127.11
November 2007 1.034 119.20
December 2007 0.997 121.49
January 2008 0.989 117.37
February 2008 1.001 118.06
March 2008 0.998 109.43
April 2008 0.986 112.99
May 2008 1.001 114.64
June 2008 0.984 111.23
July 2008 0.987 110.94
August 2008 0.948 111.27
September 2008 0.945 114.01
October 2008 0.844 104.92
November 2008 0.821 103.79
December 2008 0.810 101.03
January 2009 0.815 103.86
February 2009 0.803 104.25
March 2009 0.791 102.69
April 2009 0.817 107.46
May 2009 0.869 111.51
June 2009 0.888 105.43
July 2009 0.891 112.14
August 2009 0.919 110.11
September 2009 0.924 111.28
October 2009 0.948 109.93
November 2009 0.944 109.85
December 2009 0.948 115.30
January 2010 0.959 114.11
February 2010 0.946 116.02
March 2010 0.978 121.50
April 2010 0.995 122.82
May 2010 0.962 123.32
June 2010 0.963 120.15
July 2010 0.959 119.34
August 2010 0.960 117.02
September 2010 0.968 116.27
October 2010 0.982 114.95
November 2010 0.987 118.47
December 2010 0.992 119.83
January 2011 1.006 117.49
February 2011 1.013 120.31
March 2011 1.024 119.38
April 2011 1.044 118.53
May 2011 1.033 117.69
June 2011 1.024 118.01
July 2011 1.047 118.21
August 2011 1.017 115.76
September 2011 0.997 114.38
October 2011 0.981 117.03
November 2011 0.975 116.46
December 2011 0.977 118.55
January 2012 0.987 118.19
February 2012 1.003 120.43
March 2012 1.006 119.44
April 2012 1.007 120.30
May 2012 0.990 119.87
June 2012 0.973 119.74
July 2012 0.986 122.48
August 2012 1.008 123.16
September 2012 1.022 121.44
October 2012 1.013 119.96
November 2012 1.003 121.26
December 2012 1.011 121.58
January 2013 1.008 121.05
February 2013 0.990 120.32
March 2013 0.976 122.64
April 2013 0.982 122.67
May 2013 0.981 122.17
June 2013 0.969 119.87
July 2013 0.961 121.07
August 2013 0.961 118.65
September 2013 0.967 119.73
October 2013 0.965 117.65
November 2013 0.953 116.74
December 2013 0.940 116.14
January 2014 0.914 111.70
February 2014 0.905 110.95
March 2014 0.900 111.53
April 2014 0.910 111.96
May 2014 0.918 113.35
June 2014 0.923 114.85
July 2014 0.931 114.33
August 2014 0.915 115.76
September 2014 0.908 115.98
October 2014 0.892 116.38
November 2014 0.883 117.53
December 2014 0.867 118.41
January 2015 0.825 111.31
February 2015 0.800 113.64
March 2015 0.792 114.61
April 2015 0.811 117.86
May 2015 0.821 116.16
June 2015 0.809 115.00
July 2015 0.777 111.23
August 2015 0.761 109.82
September 2015 0.754 108.54
October 2015 0.765 111.07
November 2015 0.753 112.01
December 2015 0.730 107.13
January 2016 0.703 107.06
February 2016 0.725 109.67
March 2016 0.756 110.76
April 2016 0.780 112.85
Note :
CERI: Canadian-dollar effective exchange rate index. CAN$/US$ is based on the average noon spot rate. CERI excluding US$ is based on rates at month end. RHS=right hand scale.
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 176-0064; and Bank of Canada.

Commodity prices fell in late 2015   

Commodity prices fell sharply in late 2015 on broad-based declines in both energy and non-energy prices. At year end, the commodity price index was down 31% from December 2014. Excluding energy, commodity prices were down 20% during 2015, as metals and minerals, agriculture, fish, and forestry all declined.

Commodity prices fell in early 2016 before increasing 11.6% in March on higher energy prices. Prices for forestry, agriculture and metals also increased. Prices in March, however, remained 18% below prices twelve months earlier.

The commodity price index increased by 4.0 % in April.

Chart 17 Commodity price index

Description for Chart 17
Chart 17 Commodity price index, index (January 2007=100)
  Total, all commodities Total excluding energy Energy
January 2007 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 2007 108.6 102.8 113.1
March 2007 107.8 104.3 110.5
April 2007 113.1 108.0 117.1
May 2007 113.6 109.3 116.9
June 2007 114.2 107.6 119.5
July 2007 112.9 105.6 118.7
August 2007 109.8 101.4 116.6
September 2007 112.9 101.6 122.2
October 2007 119.2 102.7 133.3
November 2007 125.0 103.1 144.5
December 2007 122.9 101.3 142.0
January 2008 127.6 105.0 148.3
February 2008 136.4 117.6 154.2
March 2008 145.4 119.3 169.2
April 2008 153.7 118.7 185.6
May 2008 165.2 119.3 207.6
June 2008 175.6 119.6 228.4
July 2008 171.7 119.8 220.4
August 2008 150.2 116.4 180.9
September 2008 138.3 110.4 163.7
October 2008 110.2 95.7 124.2
November 2008 94.9 90.3 101.1
December 2008 79.3 84.4 79.1
January 2009 81.4 87.7 80.2
February 2009 77.6 87.2 74.3
March 2009 83.1 86.9 83.5
April 2009 82.3 87.9 81.5
May 2009 90.8 90.4 94.3
June 2009 97.9 92.0 105.8
July 2009 92.2 90.3 96.8
August 2009 95.9 90.8 103.1
September 2009 92.9 89.0 99.2
October 2009 101.1 90.8 112.8
November 2009 103.2 94.7 113.4
December 2009 108.4 96.3 121.7
January 2010 114.3 98.1 131.5
February 2010 111.8 98.7 126.1
March 2010 113.3 102.4 125.7
April 2010 115.5 106.0 126.9
May 2010 108.5 103.5 116.0
June 2010 109.3 99.2 121.0
July 2010 109.6 101.0 120.0
August 2010 109.3 104.8 116.4
September 2010 107.4 107.4 111.1
October 2010 113.6 109.9 120.2
November 2010 117.3 112.3 125.0
December 2010 123.7 117.2 132.8
January 2011 126.5 122.2 134.1
February 2011 127.0 125.8 132.2
March 2011 138.5 127.2 151.9
April 2011 146.3 129.9 164.3
May 2011 138.6 126.4 152.9
June 2011 135.3 126.6 146.5
July 2011 137.0 129.4 147.4
August 2011 129.5 127.8 135.2
September 2011 128.3 124.3 135.6
October 2011 125.6 119.5 134.5
November 2011 131.1 120.0 144.2
December 2011 130.7 119.4 143.9
January 2012 128.6 122.0 137.9
February 2012 128.5 126.7 134.2
March 2012 130.6 127.6 137.1
April 2012 130.6 126.9 137.7
May 2012 125.9 124.6 131.2
June 2012 113.6 122.9 111.2
July 2012 119.6 123.0 121.3
August 2012 126.1 122.6 133.0
September 2012 129.0 124.3 136.9
October 2012 124.3 123.9 128.9
November 2012 118.5 123.5 119.0
December 2012 118.8 125.5 118.3
January 2013 121.2 123.5 123.6
February 2013 124.9 124.0 129.6
March 2013 125.7 122.2 132.2
April 2013 126.3 120.0 134.9
May 2013 125.2 117.9 134.5
June 2013 125.8 115.2 137.5
July 2013 129.6 113.1 146.2
August 2013 129.3 113.8 145.1
September 2013 127.4 111.8 143.3
October 2013 121.6 110.8 133.4
November 2013 115.4 110.1 122.9
December 2013 121.9 108.0 136.2
January 2014 123.5 109.6 137.9
February 2014 129.7 110.3 148.4
March 2014 129.2 114.6 144.3
April 2014 130.8 115.0 146.9
May 2014 130.9 115.6 146.6
June 2014 132.8 115.4 150.0
July 2014 129.7 118.3 142.5
August 2014 125.0 116.1 136.0
September 2014 123.1 113.3 134.5
October 2014 115.6 112.1 122.7
November 2014 108.9 112.3 111.5
December 2014 92.1 111.3 86.2
January 2015 80.9 109.3 69.9
February 2015 82.7 107.0 74.2
March 2015 79.8 105.8 70.1
April 2015 84.3 105.0 78.7
May 2015 89.6 105.9 87.8
June 2015 89.4 105.8 87.5
July 2015 81.4 103.6 74.3
August 2015 71.9 98.4 61.3
September 2015 73.7 95.3 66.2
October 2015 73.2 95.4 65.3
November 2015 69.5 93.1 60.5
December 2015 63.6 89.5 52.8
January 2016 59.5 89.3 45.5
February 2016 58.9 91.4 43.1
March 2016 65.7 94.2 52.9
April 2016 68.3 94.5 57.6
Source:
Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 176-0075.

Credit market debt to disposable income edged up 

Household credit market debt rose 1.2% in the fourth quarter, to $1.92 trillion.Note 3 Household credit market debt to disposable income edged up to 165.4% in the fourth quarter, while the interest-only debt service ratio edged down to 6.2% of disposable income. The more comprehensive debt-service ratio, which includes household payments on both interest and principal owing, increased to 13.8% in the fourth quarter.

Household assets rose to $11.43 trillion in the fourth quarter, up from $11.26 trillion in the third. Increases in the value of mutual fund shares and foreign equity investments, as well as in life insurance and pension fund assets, supported the gain.  Household net worth, measured on a per capita basis, increased 1.5% in the fourth quarter to $263,200.  

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