Economic Insights
Recent Developments in the Canadian Economy: Spring 2018

by Guy Gellatly and Elizabeth Richards
Analytical Studies Branch

Release date: April 23, 2018

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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 the second half of 2017 and early 2018. The article is accompanied by a chart book that provides additional information on recent economic developments. Unless otherwise noted, the tabulations presented in this report are based on seasonally adjusted data available in CANSIM on April 6, 2018.

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Overview

Economic growth moderated in the second half of 2017 following the strongest cumulative growth in the first half of the year since the early 2000s. Exports declined sharply in the third quarter, followed by a modest gain in the fourth. Households continued to support growth during the second half of the year, although the pace of household spending slowed in the fourth quarter. Business outlays on machinery and equipment and non-residential structures contributed to growth in both the third and fourth quarters. Higher output in construction industries supported goods production, while wholesale trade supported gains among services.

Employment strengthened in the second half of the year, led by increases in full-time work and among private sector employees. Higher employment among workers aged 55 and over accounted for nearly two thirds of the net increase during the last six months of the year. Employment in goods industries continued to increase, supported by gains in construction and manufacturing. About 60% of the net increase in employment in the last half of 2017 reflected gains in Ontario.

Overall, measured year-over-year, growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) was 3.4% in December, while employment growth rose to 2.3%, the largest year-over-year increase since late 2007. More recently, the pace of both output and employment growth eased in early 2018. (Chart 1).

Chart 1 Output and employment

Data table for Chart 1
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Real gross domestic product and Employment, calculated using year-over-year change (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Real gross domestic product Employment
year-over-year change (percent)
2007
January 1.4 2.5
February 1.7 2.4
March 1.8 2.3
April 1.9 2.1
May 2.3 1.7
June 2.8 2.0
July 2.6 2.3
August 2.8 2.3
September 2.7 2.4
October 2.6 2.6
November 2.5 2.5
December 1.4 2.2
2008
January 2.0 2.0
February 1.3 2.1
March 1.2 1.8
April 1.2 2.0
May 0.8 1.8
June 0.7 1.5
July 1.1 1.1
August 0.7 1.2
September 0.9 1.3
October 0.7 1.1
November -0.4 0.3
December -1.4 0.1
2009
January -2.2 -0.8
February -2.6 -1.3
March -3.5 -1.4
April -4.0 -1.7
May -4.1 -1.9
June -4.2 -1.9
July -4.4 -1.9
August -4.4 -1.9
September -3.7 -2.1
October -3.5 -2.2
November -1.9 -1.1
December -0.3 -1.0
2010
January 0.8 0.0
February 1.9 0.4
March 3.2 0.6
April 3.4 1.3
May 4.0 1.6
June 4.1 2.1
July 4.1 2.0
August 4.5 2.1
September 3.7 1.7
October 4.1 1.8
November 3.9 1.5
December 4.4 1.8
2011
January 4.0 1.9
February 3.3 1.8
March 3.1 1.8
April 3.3 1.6
May 2.6 1.4
June 2.8 1.2
July 3.4 1.4
August 3.6 1.5
September 3.9 1.7
October 3.4 1.4
November 3.1 1.2
December 2.9 1.2
2012
January 2.6 0.7
February 2.5 0.7
March 2.4 1.1
April 2.7 1.5
May 2.9 1.4
June 2.5 1.3
July 2.1 1.0
August 1.3 1.2
September 1.0 1.3
October 1.0 1.5
November 1.2 1.7
December 0.7 1.8
2013
January 1.2 2.0
February 1.8 2.2
March 2.0 1.5
April 2.0 1.1
May 2.3 1.5
June 1.8 1.4
July 2.2 1.5
August 2.8 1.4
September 3.2 1.2
October 3.9 1.2
November 3.7 1.0
December 3.3 0.7
2014
January 2.8 0.7
February 3.0 0.6
March 2.8 0.9
April 3.0 0.7
May 3.2 0.4
June 3.9 0.5
July 3.3 0.7
August 2.6 0.4
September 2.6 0.5
October 2.5 0.8
November 2.2 0.7
December 2.8 0.6
2015
January 2.4 0.7
February 1.8 0.8
March 1.6 0.8
April 1.1 0.8
May 0.4 1.1
June 0.5 1.0
July 0.8 0.9
August 1.4 1.1
September 0.5 0.9
October 0.1 0.7
November 0.5 0.7
December 0.4 0.9
2016
January 1.3 0.7
February 1.3 0.6
March 1.1 0.7
April 1.3 0.8
May 0.7 0.5
June 0.9 0.6
July 1.2 0.4
August 1.1 0.5
September 1.9 0.9
October 1.8 1.0
November 1.8 1.1
December 2.1 1.2
2017
January 2.0 1.5
February 2.3 1.6
March 2.9 1.5
April 3.2 1.6
May 4.5 1.8
June 4.2 2.0
July 3.7 2.2
August 3.5 2.1
September 3.3 1.8
October 3.4 1.7
November 3.5 2.2
December 3.4 2.3
2018
January 2.7 1.6
February Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 1.5
March Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 1.6

For 2017 as a whole, real GDP in Canada increased 3.0%, following economic growth of 1.4% in 2016. Higher household spending accounted for about two-thirds of economic growth in 2017 (Chart 2). Business outlays on machinery and equipment made a modest contribution to growth in 2017, as did exports of goods and services. In the United States, real GDP rose by 2.3% in 2017, up from 1.5% in the previous year.

Chart 2 Contributions to real GDP growth, selected components

Data table for Chart 2
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2 2016 and 2017 (appearing as column headers).
2016 2017
Imports - services -0.022 -0.141
Imports - goods 0.305 -1.025
Exports - services 0.185 0.146
Exports - goods 0.164 0.132
Investment in inventories -0.226 0.754
Business investment - machinery and equipment
-0.242 0.227
Business investment - non-residential structures -0.782 0.020
Business investment - residential structures 0.250 0.235
Household final consumption expenditure 1.352 1.965
Gross domestic product at market prices 1.414 3.001

Lower exports weighed on the pace of economic growth  

The pace of economic growth slowed in the second half of 2017, following the strongest cumulative growth in the first half of the year since the early 2000s (Chart 3).Note 1 Real GDP rose 0.4% in the fourth quarter, matching the gain in the third. Exports weighed on growth in the third quarter, while consumer spending moderated late in the year. In the United States, real GDP growth slowed to 2.9% (annualized) in the fourth quarter, down from 3.2% in the third.

Export volumes were down 2.7% in the third quarter reflecting declines in motor vehicles and parts, metals and non-metallic minerals, and energy products. Exports of motor vehicles fell 9.1% in the third quarter, as production disruptions affected the Canadian auto sector. Energy exports also declined in the third quarter as crude and natural gas volumes edged lower. Overall export volumes edged up 0.7% in the fourth quarter, as a partial rebound in automotive exports (1.3%) was offset by lower energy volumes late in the year. 

Import volumes also moderated in the second half of 2017. Imports increased 1.5% in the fourth quarter, after edging up (+0.1%) in the third. In the third quarter, higher imports of industrial machinery, equipment and parts and consumer goods were mainly offset by lower imports of energy products. Higher imports of electronic and electrical equipment and parts, as well as aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, contributed to gains in the fourth quarter.

Improvements in the terms of trade, supported by higher energy prices, contributed to increases in real gross domestic income in late 2017. Nominal GDP rose 1.6% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.4% increase in the third. 

For 2017 as a whole, export volumes rose 1.0%, following a 1.0% increase in 2016 and a 3.5% gain in 2015. Exports of services rose 2.8% in 2017, while goods exports edged up 0.6%. Import volumes rose 3.6%, following a decline of 1.0% in 2016.

Household spending also moderated late in the year 

Consumers contributed to growth throughout 2017 although the pace of spending moderated late in the year (Chart 3). Household final expenditures rose 0.5% in the fourth quarter, after advancing 0.9% in the third. Net expenditures by Canadians abroad, which bolstered household spending in the third quarter, weighed on spending in the fourth, while spending on food, beverage and accommodation services also slowed late in the year.  Expenditures on durables moderated in the second half of 2017, as motor vehicle purchases slowed following notable gains in the first half. Auto purchases were unchanged in the fourth quarter, following a 0.6% increase in the third. 

For 2017 as a whole, household final expenditures rose by 3.5%, up from 2.4% in 2016. Annual spending on durables, supported by strong auto sales in the first half of the year, rose 6.4%.

Chart 3 Real gross domestic product, selected aggregates

Data table for Chart 3
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Household expenditure, Government current expenditure, Non-residential business investment, Goods exports and Housing, calculated using index (Q1 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Household expenditure Government current expenditure Non-residential business investment Goods exports Housing
index (Q1 2007=100)
2007
Q1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Q2 101.5 100.5 100.5 101.6 100.6
Q3 102.4 101.9 100.9 99.7 100.3
Q4 104.3 101.9 102.7 96.9 100.7
2008
Q1 105.1 102.8 106.4 95.5 99.5
Q2 105.2 105.1 106.6 96.3 97.2
Q3 105.3 105.0 106.6 95.2 95.0
Q4 104.0 106.5 101.3 89.9 89.5
2009
Q1 103.7 106.6 85.7 81.4 83.7
Q2 104.5 107.4 82.1 77.3 86.7
Q3 105.7 108.0 82.8 80.1 90.2
Q4 106.4 108.8 85.2 82.1 95.8
2010
Q1 107.6 109.8 89.8 84.0 98.5
Q2 108.5 109.7 94.1 87.3 97.3
Q3 109.4 110.1 97.6 87.1 95.5
Q4 110.4 110.8 102.5 89.5 94.8
2011
Q1 110.6 110.9 105.4 89.8 96.8
Q2 111.1 111.4 108.0 87.7 96.6
Q3 111.5 111.8 108.4 93.3 99.1
Q4 112.2 112.1 111.5 94.5 100.1
2012
Q1 112.9 112.2 114.2 94.1 104.4
Q2 113.0 111.9 117.8 93.9 103.9
Q3 113.7 112.7 118.1 93.2 103.1
Q4 114.3 112.6 120.6 93.1 103.0
2013
Q1 115.0 111.5 122.5 95.2 102.3
Q2 116.0 111.0 123.7 96.8 104.0
Q3 116.9 111.5 124.5 95.9 103.4
Q4 117.7 112.2 126.4 97.4 103.3
2014
Q1 118.0 112.4 127.7 96.2 102.2
Q2 119.2 112.1 128.9 103.1 104.8
Q3 120.1 112.2 130.8 104.6 107.3
Q4 120.9 111.8 133.4 104.1 107.7
2015
Q1 121.0 113.5 121.8 103.2 108.5
Q2 121.6 113.4 117.2 105.4 108.7
Q3 122.4 114.2 112.3 107.2 110.1
Q4 123.2 114.5 110.6 106.3 110.6
2016
Q1 123.7 115.7 106.4 108.4 112.8
Q2 124.4 116.8 104.5 103.6 113.4
Q3 125.3 116.5 106.4 106.0 112.6
Q4 126.4 116.9 101.4 106.2 113.8
2017
Q1 127.5 118.0 104.3 107.0 116.4
Q2 128.9 118.4 106.7 108.8 115.5
Q3 130.1 119.5 108.1 105.1 115.5
Q4 130.8 120.3 110.2 105.8 119.2

Non-residential business investment increased in 2017 but private-sector capital intentions lower for 2018

Non-residential business investment continued to improve in the second half of 2017 after significant declines in 2015 and 2016 (Chart 3). Combined outlays on machinery and non-residential structures rose 2.0% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.3% increase in the third. Spending on these assets has risen for four consecutive quarters. Nevertheless, outlays on non-residential structures and machinery and equipment (M&E) remained 17% below levels reached in the fourth quarter of 2014.   

Business investment in non-residential structures rose 1.3% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.7% increase in the third (Chart 4). Spending on non-residential buildings edged lower in the fourth quarter, while outlays on engineering structures continued to strengthen and have risen for four consecutive quarters. Investment in machinery and equipment, supported by higher outlays on communications equipment and computers, rose 3.0% in the fourth quarter, and increased throughout 2017.

Chart 4 Business gross fixed capital formation

Data table for Chart 4
Data table for Chart 4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 4. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Total business gross fixed capital formation, Residential structures, Non-residential structures, Machinery and equipment and Intellectual property products, calculated using index (Q1 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Total business gross fixed capital formation Residential structures Non-residential structures Machinery and equipment Intellectual property products
index (Q1 2007=100)
2007
Q1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Q2 100.6 100.6 99.8 101.3 100.7
Q3 100.8 100.3 100.2 101.6 102.1
Q4 102.1 100.7 100.5 105.0 104.5
2008
Q1 104.0 99.5 107.2 105.4 107.6
Q2 103.3 97.2 108.7 104.1 107.6
Q3 102.2 95.0 109.3 103.3 105.8
Q4 96.8 89.5 106.6 95.3 100.1
2009
Q1 85.1 83.7 91.8 79.1 88.0
Q2 83.9 86.7 85.7 77.9 85.4
Q3 85.5 90.2 84.9 80.3 85.6
Q4 89.0 95.8 85.7 84.3 87.7
2010
Q1 92.9 98.5 93.9 84.9 91.8
Q2 95.1 97.3 98.6 88.8 95.6
Q3 96.5 95.5 104.7 89.2 97.6
Q4 98.8 94.8 111.2 92.1 97.7
2011
Q1 100.7 96.8 115.5 93.3 95.6
Q2 102.6 96.6 114.6 100.2 101.0
Q3 104.1 99.1 119.5 95.0 104.0
Q4 106.1 100.1 124.0 96.5 104.1
2012
Q1 109.1 104.4 127.3 98.3 104.7
Q2 110.3 103.9 133.1 99.1 99.8
Q3 110.2 103.1 133.7 99.0 100.7
Q4 111.4 103.0 138.1 99.1 99.7
2013
Q1 112.2 102.3 141.0 99.7 100.3
Q2 113.1 104.0 143.0 99.8 97.7
Q3 113.4 103.4 146.1 97.8 98.9
Q4 114.4 103.3 147.4 100.4 99.1
2014
Q1 114.8 102.2 151.0 98.7 100.2
Q2 116.2 104.8 152.2 100.1 98.5
Q3 118.0 107.3 154.0 101.9 97.8
Q4 119.8 107.7 156.9 104.1 100.8
2015
Q1 113.2 108.5 140.8 98.2 92.8
Q2 110.7 108.7 134.9 95.2 91.3
Q3 108.5 110.1 129.5 91.0 89.4
Q4 107.9 110.6 123.9 93.8 90.6
2016
Q1 106.2 112.8 118.5 91.1 88.0
Q2 105.4 113.4 114.3 91.8 87.7
Q3 105.6 112.6 122.2 86.6 83.5
Q4 103.3 113.8 113.3 86.2 81.7
2017
Q1 106.1 116.4 113.8 92.0 85.0
Q2 107.1 115.5 116.8 93.7 85.6
Q3 107.9 115.5 118.8 94.3 86.9
Q4 110.4 119.2 120.4 97.2 86.9

Following gains in the first three quarters of 2017, business investment in intellectual property was little changed in the fourth quarter, as declines in mineral exploration and evaluation were offset by higher outlays on research and development and software. Outlays on mineral exploration and evaluation declined in the second half of the year, after notable increases in first half. In late 2017, investments in mineral exploration and evaluation were 55% lower than levels at the end of 2014. 

For 2017 as a whole, non-residential business investment rose 2.6%, following a 9.4% decline in 2016.

Going forward, private sector organizations anticipate spending 1.1% less on tangible capital assets in 2018, following declines in the previous three years (Chart 5).Note 2 Private-sector outlays are expected to decline in Alberta and Newfoundland, and increase in Ontario and Quebec. While private-sector outlays on tangible assets in Ontario are expected to rise, most of the overall increase in anticipated capital spending in Ontario reflects higher intentions among public sector organizations. Nationally, total non-residential capital intentions rose 0.8% in 2018 on higher public sector spending (+4.1%).      

Oil and gas extraction industries anticipate spending 11.6% less on capital assets in 2018, reflecting lower intentions among both non-conventional and conventional producers. Businesses engaged in non-conventional oil extraction expect to spend $10.2 billion on capital assets in 2018, down over 70% from expenditure levels in 2014, a recent peak following significant investments in the period that followed the 2008-2009 recession. Anticipated spending among conventional oil and gas producers is down over 40% from 2014 levels. Businesses that provide support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction anticipate spending $2.2 billion on capital assets in 2018, up notably from expenditure levels in the previous year, but about one-third below expenditure levels in 2014. 

Chart 5 Non-residential capital expenditures on tangible assets

Data table for Chart 5
Data table for Chart 5
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 5. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Total , Private sector organizations and Public sector organizations, calculated using index (2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Total Private sector organizations Public sector organizations
index (2007=100)
2007 100.0 100.0 100.0
2008 106.4 102.0 119.2
2009 91.6 80.5 124.1
2010 103.9 91.7 139.4
2011 112.0 103.8 135.8
2012 118.7 111.8 138.9
2013 121.9 117.3 135.4
2014 129.6 127.2 136.6
2015 119.7 110.9 145.5
2016 109.5 98.4 141.8
2017 112.7 96.0 161.6
2018 113.6 94.9 168.3

In contrast, manufacturers anticipate spending 6.2% more on tangible capital assets in 2018, following sizable declines over the previous two years. Much of the anticipated growth in manufacturing reflects higher intentions in Alberta, led by increases in petroleum and coal products and chemical manufacturing. Manufactures in Ontario anticipate spending 5% more on capital assets, as higher intentions for primary metals and petroleum and coal products are partly offset by lower anticipated spending by manufacturers of transportation equipment.  Anticipated spending in Quebec’s manufacturing sector is down 3.0% in 2018.

Spending on residential structures rebounded

Capital spending on residential structures strengthened in the fourth quarter of 2017, advancing 3.2%, the largest quarterly increase in over five years. Spending on ownership transfer costs, which reflects the volume of activity in resale markets, accelerated in late 2017 in advance of the new minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages which took effect in January 2018. Higher spending on new residential construction also contributed to growth late in the year.

For 2017 as a whole, investment in residential structures rose 3.1%, following a 3.3% gain in 2016.Note 3

Goods production slowed as auto shipments declined

Construction industries contributed to higher goods production in the third quarter as non-residential activity strengthened, while manufacturing output edged lower as production disruptions affected the auto sector. Construction also contributed to increased goods production in the fourth quarter, while manufacturing rebounded on stronger durable output (Chart 6).

The output of construction industries rose from June to November, before contracting at year end. Construction output in December was 5.2% higher than at year-end 2016, as non-residential building construction rose during the second half of the year. Engineering construction, which trended sharply lower as oil prices declined in 2015 and 2016, also strengthened during the second half of 2017, building on gains earlier in the year. After lower activity during the summer months, residential building construction increased during the fall before edging lower in December.  

Manufacturing declined during three of the last six months of 2017, as output at year end was little changed from mid-year levels. Declines among auto manufacturers weighed on the pace of growth during the second half, as auto production fell 7.6% in the third quarter before edging up 2.0% in the fourth. Manufacturers of wood products, computer and electronics products, and electrical equipment posted gains in the second half of the year.

Chart 6 Real gross domestic product, selected industries

Data table for Chart 6
Data table for Chart 6
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 6. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas , Construction, Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale, calculated using index (January 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas Construction Manufacturing Retail Wholesale
index (January 2007=100)
2007
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 101.2 100.2 100.5 100.1 103.9
March 101.8 100.7 100.5 100.4 104.2
April 99.4 101.1 100.8 102.0 104.2
May 101.2 102.1 100.0 102.6 104.9
June 101.7 102.3 100.2 102.4 105.1
July 100.2 102.4 99.3 102.5 104.2
August 102.4 102.8 99.0 103.9 103.5
September 101.5 102.8 98.7 102.9 103.6
October 99.3 102.0 98.7 103.3 104.4
November 98.4 102.2 98.5 104.7 103.5
December 97.4 103.4 95.9 106.4 102.4
2008
January 98.7 104.8 95.6 107.0 103.7
February 97.4 105.1 95.9 106.1 102.3
March 99.0 104.8 94.3 106.2 103.4
April 98.6 103.7 95.6 106.6 103.0
May 96.7 105.1 96.1 106.5 103.6
June 98.3 104.7 95.5 106.9 104.3
July 101.0 104.7 95.9 106.4 104.7
August 100.2 104.5 94.2 106.6 104.2
September 98.4 105.1 94.2 107.4 104.0
October 99.2 105.8 92.8 106.3 102.8
November 97.5 104.3 91.2 104.0 100.0
December 94.2 102.1 87.2 101.3 97.0
2009
January 97.0 98.8 84.1 103.1 95.2
February 93.5 97.5 83.2 102.9 94.7
March 88.2 96.3 82.0 102.7 93.9
April 85.4 95.7 80.7 102.6 93.9
May 85.8 96.4 79.7 103.1 94.4
June 86.6 96.5 79.0 103.3 94.6
July 85.5 96.8 79.6 103.4 95.6
August 83.9 97.5 80.0 103.5 95.9
September 87.0 98.6 80.9 104.1 96.0
October 87.0 99.6 80.5 104.0 96.4
November 88.2 101.5 81.8 102.3 98.2
December 87.2 102.5 81.4 104.0 100.1
2010
January 90.0 104.3 82.3 105.6 101.3
February 92.8 104.8 83.4 105.6 100.7
March 94.0 105.2 84.7 107.8 101.5
April 93.6 105.6 84.6 105.4 101.4
May 98.3 105.4 85.0 105.0 101.5
June 97.7 105.9 86.1 105.7 102.4
July 97.5 106.1 86.1 106.0 101.3
August 97.1 106.8 86.0 106.4 103.2
September 95.5 107.1 85.4 106.4 103.6
October 98.9 107.5 85.3 106.0 104.4
November 100.1 107.8 84.8 107.7 106.0
December 102.4 108.0 86.2 107.1 108.0
2011
January 100.0 109.0 87.0 106.8 109.6
February 99.5 109.4 86.3 106.8 108.0
March 101.8 108.8 86.9 105.3 109.2
April 102.5 108.6 86.9 106.5 108.0
May 98.8 108.4 86.4 106.5 109.2
June 100.5 109.5 86.8 107.9 108.8
July 103.6 110.3 88.1 106.9 111.9
August 107.3 111.1 87.9 106.8 111.1
September 107.6 111.6 88.9 107.1 111.6
October 105.9 111.8 89.1 107.8 113.1
November 105.2 112.3 89.6 107.8 113.3
December 105.6 113.5 91.1 109.5 114.3
2012
January 106.2 114.7 90.8 108.4 112.6
February 102.9 115.6 89.2 107.3 113.7
March 102.6 117.3 89.6 107.8 114.7
April 103.0 118.7 90.3 106.7 115.2
May 102.2 118.5 89.9 107.0 114.3
June 100.4 119.2 89.9 107.1 114.7
July 99.4 119.4 89.9 108.2 115.2
August 97.3 119.7 89.5 107.3 114.7
September 97.8 120.4 88.4 107.7 114.5
October 99.4 121.4 87.4 107.5 113.9
November 101.6 121.9 88.3 108.2 115.8
December 102.0 122.5 87.2 108.1 115.1
2013
January 102.5 122.5 88.3 110.7 116.7
February 104.5 123.0 88.5 110.4 117.6
March 105.6 123.8 88.8 111.1 117.7
April 105.3 124.6 88.3 112.1 118.4
May 105.0 125.0 88.2 114.4 119.5
June 103.8 122.2 88.2 113.1 117.3
July 106.1 124.8 88.0 114.2 120.5
August 107.6 125.2 88.6 115.3 120.1
September 108.9 124.9 89.8 115.0 120.7
October 109.9 125.3 90.9 115.8 121.8
November 109.3 125.6 90.7 115.8 122.4
December 109.7 124.5 88.7 115.3 119.8
2014
January 110.1 125.5 89.1 114.3 118.9
February 112.0 126.2 90.8 114.1 120.7
March 114.2 125.9 89.9 113.6 120.7
April 117.2 125.4 90.6 113.9 120.4
May 117.5 127.1 91.7 114.1 122.3
June 118.9 127.7 92.5 114.8 123.1
July 116.1 128.6 92.9 115.1 122.2
August 111.9 127.9 91.8 115.0 123.2
September 115.6 128.3 92.3 115.1 125.7
October 117.5 129.7 92.5 115.2 123.8
November 116.5 129.8 91.6 115.6 123.0
December 114.7 128.7 93.2 116.3 125.1
2015
January 114.1 126.2 92.3 114.2 122.4
February 113.0 124.1 91.5 116.0 122.7
March 111.0 122.9 92.2 117.3 123.0
April 110.6 122.1 91.7 116.4 124.7
May 109.8 122.7 91.3 117.1 123.1
June 112.9 121.6 90.7 117.9 124.2
July 116.2 121.1 91.3 118.5 123.5
August 115.9 121.5 92.6 119.1 123.3
September 110.5 120.5 91.7 120.4 123.2
October 112.1 119.7 91.2 119.4 123.6
November 112.2 119.5 92.0 120.8 124.9
December 112.2 119.1 92.2 119.6 125.3
2016
January 112.5 119.2 93.2 121.3 125.7
February 111.4 119.1 92.5 122.9 123.0
March 110.8 118.2 92.1 121.0 122.3
April 108.4 118.2 92.2 121.1 123.2
May 101.5 117.1 90.6 120.9 123.4
June 106.2 116.7 91.9 120.3 124.1
July 112.1 117.1 92.1 121.0 123.6
August 112.9 116.6 92.3 121.2 123.7
September 116.3 117.3 92.6 122.3 122.7
October 115.5 117.2 91.5 123.2 124.7
November 118.0 117.8 92.7 123.7 124.4
December 116.5 118.8 93.6 123.6 126.7
2017
January 119.3 119.5 94.2 125.0 129.0
February 118.6 119.9 93.6 125.4 129.6
March 117.5 120.4 94.5 126.6 131.2
April 117.5 121.7 94.5 127.1 132.0
May 123.7 120.6 95.2 127.5 132.5
June 123.1 122.4 96.3 128.4 132.0
July 121.4 122.6 96.3 128.3 134.3
August 121.4 123.1 95.2 127.6 134.8
September 122.6 123.9 95.0 127.1 133.7
October 121.5 124.6 95.1 128.8 136.1
November 121.9 125.4 96.8 129.6 136.3
December 123.5 125.0 96.5 128.6 136.0
2018
January 120.1 125.7 97.2 128.9 136.7

Gains among services also moderated during the second half of 2017, as retail trade and finance and insurance weighed on growth in the third quarter. Wholesale industries supported gains among services in the third quarter, and then again in the fourth as finance and retail trade strengthened.

Support services for resource extraction edged lower

The growth in oil and gas extraction moderated in the second half of 2017 as lower production among conventional oil and gas producers late in the year was offset by increases in non-conventional output (Chart 7). After shutdowns affected production during the fall, non-conventional oil extraction rose in November and December. At year end, both non-conventional and conventional output was about 8% higher than levels in December 2016, supported by gains during the first half of the year.  

Businesses that provide support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, including rigging and drilling services, reduced output during the second half of 2017, posting eight consecutive declines from May to December. Output at year end was down 2.7% from levels at the end of 2016, and about one-third below levels at the end of 2014, as these support activities trended lower with declines in oil prices in recent years.     

Chart 7 Real gross domestic product, selected industries

Data table for Chart 7
Data table for Chart 7
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 7. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Conventional oil and gas extraction, Non-conventional oil extraction, Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, Crude oil and other pipeline transportation and Petroleum refineries, calculated using index (January 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Conventional oil and gas extraction Non-conventional oil extraction Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction Crude oil and other pipeline transportation Petroleum refineries
index (January 2007=100)
2007
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 100.2 108.1 98.8 97.7 99.8
March 100.3 112.5 95.5 96.6 100.7
April 103.4 102.3 80.3 96.8 102.7
May 103.7 100.0 88.1 96.1 100.6
June 105.5 94.4 95.1 93.2 101.5
July 99.5 101.6 100.9 96.6 104.6
August 100.8 110.6 94.9 95.3 102.1
September 101.0 106.4 94.1 94.8 101.6
October 99.4 105.1 90.8 94.0 101.4
November 98.3 101.8 93.4 93.6 98.9
December 97.9 93.2 91.6 91.7 100.3
2008
January 95.7 104.9 94.3 92.3 99.8
February 94.7 102.5 92.2 91.7 97.4
March 95.9 105.7 93.3 90.6 91.6
April 97.5 101.6 89.4 89.4 97.6
May 95.4 97.9 90.3 91.7 98.3
June 93.5 105.2 106.8 89.4 97.9
July 97.2 107.9 111.6 86.8 96.4
August 94.5 110.9 111.6 87.6 94.0
September 94.4 106.3 108.2 86.1 93.9
October 95.9 107.3 112.2 89.8 96.1
November 93.6 109.4 110.0 88.1 97.9
December 91.1 112.9 89.7 90.7 98.2
2009
January 92.1 115.1 91.7 88.3 100.2
February 91.4 121.6 86.4 85.2 102.4
March 88.5 118.2 64.7 84.3 103.0
April 85.9 111.9 69.9 83.2 98.2
May 82.4 124.7 68.1 80.7 103.6
June 85.8 127.2 67.2 84.3 101.2
July 86.3 128.8 62.4 83.4 100.7
August 81.7 122.8 68.7 82.8 100.4
September 82.1 127.7 72.7 86.4 95.1
October 81.3 130.1 70.2 87.3 94.6
November 82.9 130.4 80.3 87.8 98.4
December 81.2 120.8 92.0 85.7 99.6
2010
January 83.6 113.8 90.3 82.0 100.9
February 82.4 127.1 98.0 81.4 94.6
March 83.6 131.8 89.6 87.6 94.5
April 83.8 135.1 87.2 85.8 91.4
May 85.4 144.8 97.8 87.9 94.4
June 85.3 145.7 94.3 87.8 98.3
July 86.1 140.3 94.2 89.8 95.2
August 88.4 136.5 88.7 90.0 93.7
September 87.3 131.9 81.0 80.1 96.9
October 86.6 139.0 92.8 82.6 84.0
November 86.7 148.9 92.9 87.7 89.1
December 88.4 153.5 97.6 87.6 92.0
2011
January 88.4 146.5 89.1 97.8 88.0
February 86.3 148.5 88.9 102.6 87.6
March 87.6 146.8 104.3 99.2 88.6
April 88.1 151.6 101.8 95.2 89.9
May 86.9 135.6 102.8 94.5 78.8
June 85.4 145.7 103.2 96.5 83.3
July 87.7 151.0 105.1 100.9 84.0
August 89.5 154.0 123.7 106.1 86.7
September 89.9 155.4 123.9 106.2 95.1
October 89.1 151.4 124.1 106.2 91.1
November 87.9 151.7 123.7 104.0 89.3
December 88.0 153.1 120.6 105.7 88.4
2012
January 87.8 160.8 121.7 110.9 87.4
February 86.0 154.8 124.0 109.0 89.7
March 85.6 145.8 127.2 109.9 86.6
April 84.8 157.4 117.8 113.5 90.8
May 82.4 162.9 108.7 117.1 88.5
June 79.7 158.8 108.6 117.2 86.8
July 78.4 162.0 104.5 115.3 91.4
August 76.6 159.1 102.8 113.4 89.6
September 76.5 156.9 107.2 111.0 87.8
October 81.0 160.4 102.4 104.8 94.3
November 83.1 156.9 105.2 109.4 93.5
December 81.6 162.6 107.7 114.9 93.1
2013
January 82.1 159.9 112.0 116.0 93.9
February 82.7 161.2 116.8 117.4 89.7
March 83.4 167.5 113.1 119.5 90.7
April 83.3 164.8 114.5 117.9 90.6
May 84.9 160.3 110.2 115.1 80.3
June 85.5 161.0 104.9 116.9 94.7
July 86.9 163.7 111.7 114.9 88.7
August 86.9 170.5 116.6 118.9 91.2
September 87.3 173.2 118.3 119.6 94.9
October 86.0 176.2 120.4 123.4 90.0
November 86.1 180.6 111.3 122.1 94.5
December 87.4 184.3 106.4 115.4 90.0
2014
January 87.7 182.4 112.6 116.4 90.2
February 89.2 181.5 115.6 118.5 96.5
March 88.6 189.6 123.6 119.1 85.7
April 87.7 200.0 131.5 118.8 88.4
May 89.2 202.4 127.9 125.3 91.8
June 90.4 205.1 123.0 128.2 103.1
July 89.7 197.2 120.3 125.0 98.4
August 86.2 189.7 111.3 122.9 94.9
September 88.7 201.2 113.3 125.1 87.9
October 90.0 208.7 112.0 124.4 92.3
November 91.4 198.2 114.6 124.7 96.9
December 88.7 199.3 110.3 125.6 97.2
2015
January 89.5 209.5 88.9 123.2 94.1
February 88.9 214.9 73.5 127.5 92.9
March 87.4 212.9 65.3 124.0 96.7
April 86.7 205.6 75.5 132.6 95.1
May 85.1 201.7 83.9 128.8 96.5
June 85.1 214.6 84.8 132.8 88.0
July 85.3 232.2 81.6 138.0 89.3
August 85.8 227.9 84.3 142.7 94.8
September 86.4 201.8 76.7 141.0 92.2
October 85.2 214.8 77.5 135.7 93.0
November 86.0 218.3 73.7 138.5 88.6
December 86.2 220.9 65.9 142.6 92.0
2016
January 87.8 220.5 64.3 147.4 93.3
February 86.7 218.6 60.1 149.6 92.6
March 87.2 223.3 51.4 143.1 93.1
April 88.3 208.7 51.3 136.9 96.4
May 89.8 162.9 52.6 130.9 83.2
June 89.6 184.9 53.4 133.9 91.6
July 90.3 222.9 53.8 138.1 98.9
August 91.1 222.2 56.0 144.5 94.1
September 92.1 236.2 59.1 147.5 91.5
October 89.3 236.6 60.6 145.3 85.6
November 89.3 244.5 65.9 148.1 91.8
December 86.9 232.8 76.7 145.3 92.8
2017
January 89.1 240.1 76.7 145.7 95.5
February 88.2 242.2 78.9 147.5 94.0
March 90.2 230.2 83.6 147.1 97.5
April 90.9 220.9 90.3 147.0 97.3
May 94.1 246.9 85.4 152.9 99.9
June 94.7 242.1 84.5 153.6 100.9
July 94.1 235.2 81.9 158.8 100.6
August 90.6 242.2 80.3 152.0 96.6
September 94.6 238.1 79.0 157.8 100.5
October 96.2 229.6 76.4 155.3 105.7
November 95.0 238.3 75.9 142.8 97.5
December 94.0 252.7 74.6 147.9 96.1
2018
January 93.5 234.9 76.5 141.6 96.3

More recently, real GDP edged down 0.1% in January 2018 on declines in non-conventional oil extraction and real estate activity. Higher output in manufacturing and construction partially offset these declines. 

Total employment strengthened on full-time gains

Total employment rose by 232,000 (+1.3%) in the last six months of 2017, largely on increases in full-time work (Chart 8). Gains among private sector employees accounted for over one-half of the net increase in employment, while higher employment among individuals aged 55 and over accounted for nearly two-thirds of the net increase. Employment in goods industries rose by 77,000 during the last six months of the year, supported by increases in construction and manufacturing. Gains among services during the second half were broad-based, led by increases in wholesale and retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. Almost 60% of the net increase in employment during the second half of 2017 was accounted for by gains in Ontario, supported by increases in full-time work. Full-time work in Quebec also strengthened during the second half of 2017.

Chart 8 Type of employment

Data table for Chart 8
Data table for Chart 8
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 8. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Full-time and Part-time, calculated using year-over-year change (thousands of persons) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Full-time Part-time
year-over-year change (thousands of persons)
2007
January 287.7 113.0
February 324.8 58.0
March 308.7 71.8
April 247.1 88.8
May 160.5 121.6
June 332.8 2.8
July 314.7 61.6
August 267.5 110.7
September 299.5 98.9
October 270.1 161.4
November 296.1 124.3
December 265.0 94.4
2008
January 279.7 51.6
February 311.5 44.1
March 249.1 43.0
April 289.7 37.1
May 204.1 104.5
June 83.2 161.4
July 86.0 107.2
August 139.9 64.3
September 114.5 106.1
October 124.7 68.9
November 23.2 32.5
December -50.2 71.5
2009
January -185.2 55.8
February -365.5 138.1
March -369.0 138.7
April -391.4 98.5
May -416.0 92.2
June -436.9 110.3
July -402.7 85.2
August -482.6 154.8
September -372.1 10.8
October -364.1 -18.3
November -221.0 40.8
December -166.0 1.5
2010
January -67.4 72.3
February 118.4 -43.7
March 89.3 16.1
April 138.3 86.7
May 230.7 35.2
June 303.0 42.6
July 118.4 218.0
August 206.9 135.4
September 134.8 144.3
October 159.5 147.3
November 113.6 143.9
December 180.3 127.5
2011
January 209.7 105.6
February 96.4 198.5
March 260.8 44.5
April 236.1 28.9
May 193.8 39.2
June 186.6 23.6
July 382.9 -144.1
August 353.2 -102.2
September 360.4 -65.8
October 232.8 6.5
November 269.2 -66.7
December 231.2 -30.2
2012
January 190.4 -68.5
February 229.0 -106.1
March 212.3 -18.2
April 250.8 -0.1
May 225.5 21.2
June 237.4 -14.8
July 213.0 -33.9
August 203.5 -2.9
September 188.4 38.8
October 288.2 -21.4
November 253.4 48.0
December 273.2 38.8
2013
January 289.5 62.1
February 327.2 50.4
March 195.4 57.6
April 183.2 9.7
May 275.1 -21.6
June 199.9 36.3
July 159.2 96.4
August 153.5 93.8
September 167.6 49.2
October 172.5 34.1
November 136.4 47.2
December 52.4 78.5
2014
January 64.7 64.7
February 72.0 42.0
March 105.6 55.2
April 52.2 67.2
May -70.5 137.4
June 27.5 58.6
July 22.3 100.8
August -6.2 73.4
September 24.1 68.3
October 28.1 110.4
November 67.1 48.3
December 145.5 -37.4
2015
January 116.6 11.7
February 128.7 8.1
March 126.5 7.2
April 171.9 -35.9
May 234.8 -42.6
June 235.2 -61.0
July 273.9 -105.1
August 323.8 -124.7
September 196.5 -30.2
October 174.3 -43.5
November 202.0 -74.8
December 148.9 3.2
2016
January 168.1 -51.8
February 54.7 51.8
March 109.8 14.8
April 88.2 56.5
May 102.2 -8.8
June 25.0 80.3
July -42.7 110.6
August -22.8 113.5
September 60.6 100.0
October 25.6 150.7
November -25.5 224.3
December 75.2 147.0
2017
January 93.4 183.9
February 250.6 41.2
March 228.3 50.9
April 197.6 84.5
May 232.7 90.3
June 262.6 96.2
July 356.3 35.7
August 222.8 154.9
September 287.6 36.1
October 401.3 -85.5
November 445.2 -50.3
December 391.0 36.3
2018
January 414.1 -125.4
February 282.9 -0.4
March 335.2 -38.9

For 2017 as a whole, total employment increased by 427,000, about twice the net gain observed in 2016.Note 4 Almost all of the overall increase in 2017 was in full time-work, and about one-half of the gain reflected increases among private-sector employees.

More recently, total employment contracted during the first quarter of 2018, reflecting declines in part-time work and among private sector employees. The net decline in employment during the first quarter reflected a large reduction in part-time work in January. Full-time employment (+78,000) continued to strengthen during the first quarter.

Unemployment edged below 6% as employment strengthened

The national unemployment rate trended lower during the second half of 2017 and again in early 2018 to a record low of 5.8% (Chart 9).  Quebec’s unemployment rate was 5% at year end, down from 6.7% at the end of 2016, while Ontario’s rate declined from 6.4% to 5.6% over this twelve-month period. Alberta’s unemployment rate declined to 7.0% in December 2017 as labour market conditions in the province continued to improve. British Columbia’s unemployment rate, the lowest among the provinces, edged down to 4.6% at year end, and has been below 5% since September 2017.

Chart 9 Employment and unemployment rates

Data table for Chart 9
Data table for Chart 9
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 9. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Employment rate and Unemployment rate, calculated using employment rate (percent)
and unemployment rate (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Employment rate Unemployment rate
employment rate (percent)
unemployment rate (percent)
2007
January 63.2 6.2
February 63.2 6.2
March 63.3 6.1
April 63.2 6.2
May 63.2 6.0
June 63.4 6.1
July 63.4 6.0
August 63.4 5.9
September 63.5 5.9
October 63.6 5.8
November 63.6 6.0
December 63.6 6.0
2008
January 63.6 5.9
February 63.7 5.9
March 63.6 6.1
April 63.6 6.0
May 63.5 6.0
June 63.4 6.0
July 63.3 6.1
August 63.3 6.1
September 63.4 6.1
October 63.5 6.2
November 63.0 6.6
December 62.8 6.9
2009
January 62.3 7.4
February 62.0 8.0
March 61.9 8.1
April 61.6 8.3
May 61.5 8.6
June 61.3 8.7
July 61.3 8.7
August 61.2 8.7
September 61.2 8.4
October 61.2 8.4
November 61.4 8.5
December 61.3 8.5
2010
January 61.4 8.3
February 61.4 8.2
March 61.4 8.2
April 61.6 8.1
May 61.6 8.0
June 61.8 7.9
July 61.6 8.1
August 61.6 8.1
September 61.4 8.1
October 61.5 7.8
November 61.5 7.6
December 61.6 7.6
2011
January 61.8 7.7
February 61.7 7.7
March 61.7 7.7
April 61.8 7.6
May 61.7 7.5
June 61.8 7.5
July 61.8 7.3
August 61.8 7.3
September 61.7 7.4
October 61.6 7.4
November 61.5 7.5
December 61.6 7.4
2012
January 61.4 7.6
February 61.4 7.5
March 61.6 7.3
April 61.9 7.3
May 61.7 7.4
June 61.7 7.2
July 61.6 7.3
August 61.7 7.2
September 61.7 7.3
October 61.7 7.4
November 61.8 7.2
December 61.9 7.2
2013
January 61.9 7.1
February 61.9 7.1
March 61.7 7.3
April 61.8 7.1
May 61.8 7.0
June 61.8 7.1
July 61.7 7.2
August 61.8 7.1
September 61.7 7.0
October 61.7 7.0
November 61.6 7.0
December 61.6 7.2
2014
January 61.5 7.0
February 61.5 7.0
March 61.5 7.0
April 61.4 7.0
May 61.3 7.0
June 61.3 7.0
July 61.4 7.1
August 61.3 7.0
September 61.3 6.9
October 61.5 6.7
November 61.4 6.7
December 61.3 6.7
2015
January 61.3 6.6
February 61.4 6.8
March 61.4 6.8
April 61.3 6.8
May 61.4 6.8
June 61.3 6.9
July 61.4 6.8
August 61.4 7.0
September 61.3 7.1
October 61.3 7.0
November 61.2 7.1
December 61.2 7.1
2016
January 61.1 7.2
February 61.1 7.2
March 61.1 7.0
April 61.1 7.1
May 61.0 6.9
June 61.0 6.8
July 60.9 7.0
August 61.0 7.0
September 61.2 7.0
October 61.3 6.9
November 61.2 6.8
December 61.3 6.9
2017
January 61.4 6.7
February 61.4 6.6
March 61.5 6.6
April 61.4 6.4
May 61.5 6.5
June 61.6 6.5
July 61.6 6.3
August 61.6 6.2
September 61.6 6.2
October 61.6 6.2
November 61.9 5.9
December 62.0 5.8
2018
January 61.7 5.9
February 61.7 5.8
March 61.7 5.8

On the strength of recent job gains, the national employment rate continued to rise during the second half of 2017, building on an upward trend that began in mid-2016 as economic conditions began to improve.Note 5 This followed several years during which the national employment rate trended lower due to the impact of population aging on the labour market. At the end of 2017, the national employment rate reached 62.0%, the highest rate in almost nine years. The employment rates in Quebec and Ontario at year end were 61.6% and 61.4%, respectively. British Columbia’s rate was 62.3%, while the employment rate in Alberta’s edged above 67% for the first time since March 2016.

Earnings growth strengthened on broad-based gains among industries

The growth in average weekly earnings, measured year-over-year, accelerated in the second half of 2017, and was at or above 3.0% from September to November before edging down to 2.5% at year-end (Chart 10). Earnings growth in the goods sector strengthened in the fall, supported by gains in construction and utilities. Among services, earnings growth was broad-based, as wholesale and retail industries, finance and insurance industries, real estate industries, and professional, scientific and technical industries all posted notable gains in the second half of the year.

Chart 10 Earnings and inflation

Data table for Chart 10
Data table for Chart 10
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 10. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Average weekly earnings and Consumer price inflation , calculated using year-over-year change (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Average weekly earnings Consumer price inflation
year-over-year change (percent)
2007
January 3.8 1.1
February 3.3 2.0
March 4.3 2.3
April 4.1 2.2
May 4.6 2.2
June 5.2 2.2
July 4.9 2.2
August 4.0 1.7
September 4.5 2.5
October 4.2 2.4
November 5.1 2.5
December 3.3 2.4
2008
January 3.2 2.2
February 4.2 1.8
March 3.2 1.4
April 3.5 1.7
May 2.9 2.2
June 2.4 3.1
July 2.4 3.4
August 2.8 3.5
September 2.9 3.4
October 3.1 2.6
November 2.4 2.0
December 1.8 1.2
2009
January 2.2 1.1
February 1.8 1.4
March 1.8 1.2
April 1.1 0.4
May 1.2 0.1
June 1.4 -0.3
July 1.4 -0.9
August 1.2 -0.8
September 1.7 -0.9
October 0.9 0.1
November 1.2 1.0
December 2.4 1.3
2010
January 2.3 1.9
February 2.8 1.6
March 2.7 1.4
April 3.4 1.8
May 3.6 1.4
June 3.5 1.0
July 3.8 1.8
August 4.4 1.7
September 4.5 1.9
October 4.2 2.4
November 4.3 2.0
December 4.0 2.4
2011
January 4.6 2.3
February 3.5 2.2
March 3.4 3.3
April 2.9 3.3
May 2.9 3.7
June 2.4 3.1
July 1.8 2.7
August 1.6 3.1
September 0.9 3.2
October 2.5 2.9
November 1.9 2.9
December 1.7 2.3
2012
January 1.4 2.5
February 1.2 2.6
March 1.9 1.9
April 2.2 2.0
May 2.2 1.2
June 2.7 1.5
July 3.7 1.3
August 3.6 1.2
September 3.4 1.2
October 2.4 1.2
November 2.7 0.8
December 2.6 0.8
2013
January 1.7 0.5
February 2.8 1.2
March 1.9 1.0
April 1.6 0.4
May 2.6 0.7
June 1.9 1.2
July 1.0 1.3
August 0.8 1.1
September 1.1 1.1
October 1.4 0.7
November 2.1 0.9
December 2.4 1.2
2014
January 2.4 1.5
February 2.4 1.1
March 2.6 1.5
April 3.0 2.0
May 2.5 2.3
June 2.9 2.4
July 3.6 2.1
August 3.1 2.1
September 3.0 2.0
October 2.8 2.4
November 1.7 2.0
December 1.8 1.5
2015
January 2.7 1.0
February 2.5 1.0
March 2.7 1.2
April 2.4 0.8
May 1.3 0.9
June 1.8 1.0
July 1.5 1.3
August 0.6 1.3
September 1.5 1.0
October 1.4 1.0
November 1.4 1.4
December 1.6 1.6
2016
January 0.1 2.0
February 0.5 1.4
March 0.5 1.3
April -0.2 1.7
May 0.7 1.5
June 0.4 1.5
July -0.1 1.3
August 1.5 1.1
September 0.1 1.3
October -0.1 1.5
November 0.9 1.2
December 1.4 1.5
2017
January 1.8 2.1
February 1.0 2.0
March 1.1 1.6
April 1.9 1.6
May 1.7 1.3
June 1.6 1.0
July 1.3 1.2
August 1.9 1.4
September 3.2 1.6
October 3.0 1.4
November 3.2 2.1
December 2.5 1.9
2018
January 3.2 1.7
February Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 2.2

Earnings growth began to outpace increases in consumer price inflation in early 2017, with the gap between the two widening in the second half of the year. The year-over-year change in average weekly earnings averaged 2.5% in the last six months of 2017, while headline inflation averaged 1.6%.

Evidence of stronger earnings growth in the second half of the year was apparent from a range of statistical measures. Average hourly and weekly wage rates for full-time work, based on data from the Labour Force Survey, also rose in the second half, as did wage rates for part-time work. Similarly, the quarterly growth rate in wages and salaries, as reflected in estimates of nominal GDP, rose above 1.4% in both the third and fourth quarters, the fastest pace of growth since early 2011.

Merchandise trade deficits widened as non-energy exports declined

Canada continued to post merchandise trade deficits through the second half of 2017, as larger deficits for non-energy products weighed on trade balances (Chart 11). The cumulative merchandise trade deficit during the second half of the year totalled $15.4 billion, an increase of $7.4 billion from the cumulative deficit during the first six months of the year. The cumulative deficit on non-energy commodities was $5.7 billion higher in the second half of 2017, as exports of motor vehicles and parts contracted. The cumulative surplus on energy products narrowed in the second half (down $1.7 billion), as lower export volumes offset higher energy prices.

For 2017 as a whole, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit narrowed to $23.3 billion, the third consecutive annual trade deficit, and down from $25.9 billion in 2016, as larger energy surpluses were offset by wider non-energy deficits.

Chart 11 Merchandise trade balance, energy and non-energy commodities

Data table for Chart 11
Data table for Chart 11
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 11. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Total , Energy and Non-Energy, calculated using index (2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Total Energy Non-Energy
millions of dollars
2007
January 4,647.9 3,661.8 986.1
February 4,037.6 4,812.4 -774.8
March 4,441.1 4,193.0 248.1
April 5,570.9 4,438.5 1,132.4
May 5,337.1 4,136.4 1,200.7
June 3,770.9 3,548.1 222.8
July 2,559.8 3,207.4 -647.6
August 3,788.6 3,916.3 -127.7
September 2,612.9 3,965.4 -1,352.5
October 3,092.5 4,618.3 -1,525.8
November 3,773.7 4,567.6 -793.9
December 1,961.5 4,089.5 -2,128.0
2008
January 2,484.8 4,284.3 -1,799.5
February 3,784.1 5,327.5 -1,543.4
March 5,727.2 6,351.2 -624.0
April 4,976.0 6,000.4 -1,024.4
May 5,623.7 6,998.3 -1,374.6
June 5,060.8 6,496.8 -1,436.0
July 5,592.2 6,548.1 -955.9
August 5,679.9 6,605.1 -925.2
September 3,447.8 5,803.9 -2,356.1
October 2,610.1 4,741.2 -2,131.1
November 386.6 4,169.8 -3,783.2
December -1,703.6 2,902.7 -4,606.3
2009
January -1,767.1 3,093.6 -4,860.7
February -44.7 3,250.4 -3,295.1
March 1,079.3 3,801.7 -2,722.4
April -676.2 2,969.5 -3,645.7
May -1,543.6 2,700.0 -4,243.6
June 97.3 3,649.4 -3,552.1
July -782.4 3,160.4 -3,942.8
August -1,561.3 3,269.5 -4,830.8
September -821.4 3,775.6 -4,597.0
October 360.0 4,086.1 -3,726.1
November -334.5 4,354.9 -4,689.4
December -778.8 4,014.9 -4,793.7
2010
January 394.0 4,346.7 -3,952.7
February 61.2 4,467.2 -4,406.0
March -1,255.8 3,732.8 -4,988.6
April 109.6 3,842.6 -3,733.0
May -860.2 3,779.8 -4,640.0
June -1,396.2 3,765.0 -5,161.2
July -2,071.0 3,452.0 -5,523.0
August -1,771.5 2,890.1 -4,661.6
September -2,333.8 3,439.4 -5,773.2
October -1,182.5 3,685.1 -4,867.6
November -512.8 3,775.6 -4,288.4
December 1,115.7 4,789.2 -3,673.5
2011
January 744.1 4,842.6 -4,098.5
February -48.5 4,431.9 -4,480.4
March -999.5 3,881.3 -4,880.8
April -239.7 4,494.0 -4,733.7
May -1,086.0 4,053.7 -5,139.7
June -1,114.5 4,526.6 -5,641.1
July 148.8 4,678.2 -4,529.4
August 208.8 4,744.0 -4,535.2
September 1,097.8 5,199.1 -4,101.3
October -840.1 4,877.8 -5,717.9
November 575.3 5,305.7 -4,730.4
December 2,121.1 6,015.9 -3,894.8
2012
January -34.7 5,887.1 -5,921.8
February -1.0 5,450.7 -5,451.7
March -1,162.1 5,013.9 -6,176.0
April -740.9 5,081.4 -5,822.3
May -1,386.6 4,092.9 -5,479.5
June -2,337.8 4,804.3 -7,142.1
July -3,042.0 3,771.5 -6,813.5
August -1,076.3 4,301.2 -5,377.5
September -1,051.1 4,810.8 -5,861.9
October -379.3 4,837.1 -5,216.4
November -1,673.3 4,729.1 -6,402.4
December -404.0 4,718.1 -5,122.1
2013
January -882.6 4,880.9 -5,763.5
February -690.4 5,275.8 -5,966.2
March -183.1 5,617.8 -5,800.9
April -153.1 5,437.0 -5,590.1
May -820.4 5,240.3 -6,060.7
June -444.0 5,383.7 -5,827.7
July -1,656.5 5,890.5 -7,547.0
August -797.6 6,641.7 -7,439.3
September -35.1 6,693.6 -6,728.7
October -371.7 6,469.5 -6,841.2
November -1,267.6 5,840.2 -7,107.8
December -843.3 6,154.7 -6,998.0
2014
January -876.4 7,141.1 -8,017.5
February 574.5 8,080.8 -7,506.3
March 1,523.3 8,618.1 -7,094.8
April 322.5 7,188.8 -6,866.3
May 567.5 7,574.2 -7,006.7
June 1,628.3 7,596.5 -5,968.2
July 1,694.9 7,050.0 -5,355.1
August 922.8 7,084.2 -6,161.4
September 585.5 6,783.4 -6,197.9
October -191.3 6,767.6 -6,958.9
November -796.2 6,080.8 -6,877.0
December -1,282.5 5,224.9 -6,507.4
2015
January -2,399.2 4,795.2 -7,194.4
February -1,955.5 4,978.8 -6,934.3
March -3,312.4 4,552.4 -7,864.8
April -2,285.3 4,455.1 -6,740.4
May -2,726.1 4,756.9 -7,483.0
June -135.4 5,015.4 -5,150.8
July -209.9 4,725.0 -4,934.9
August -1,926.0 4,091.6 -6,017.6
September -1,794.6 4,032.0 -5,826.6
October -2,184.5 4,189.9 -6,374.4
November -2,993.0 3,665.2 -6,658.2
December -1,813.0 3,554.7 -5,367.7
2016
January -1,615.8 3,366.5 -4,982.3
February -2,901.7 2,583.4 -5,485.1
March -3,455.6 2,744.5 -6,200.1
April -3,037.9 3,115.8 -6,153.7
May -3,706.8 2,974.1 -6,680.9
June -3,619.1 2,946.6 -6,565.7
July -1,704.4 3,263.3 -4,967.7
August -1,688.1 3,764.8 -5,452.9
September -4,127.4 3,946.3 -8,073.7
October -1,403.1 4,257.7 -5,660.8
November 1,139.4 5,079.4 -3,940.0
December 249.7 6,191.7 -5,942.0
2017
January -309.3 5,420.7 -5,730.0
February -1,707.5 5,138.3 -6,845.8
March -914.2 5,786.1 -6,700.3
April -1,162.7 5,692.8 -6,855.5
May -981.1 5,597.6 -6,578.7
June -2,887.7 4,809.5 -7,697.2
July -2,610.7 4,742.9 -7,353.6
August -2,838.4 4,998.0 -7,836.4
September -3,213.5 4,822.8 -8,036.3
October -1,360.8 5,137.2 -6,498.0
November -2,319.5 5,451.8 -7,771.3
December -3,011.6 5,619.7 -8,631.3
2018
January -1,938.0 6,006.4 -7,944.4
February -2,686.0 5,448.6 -8,134.6

Total merchandise exports in the second half of 2017 were 4.0% lower than in the first six months of the year, reflecting broad-based declines. Lower shipments of motor vehicles and parts, down 11.6%, accounted for one-half of the decline in total exports in the second half of the year (Chart 12). Energy exports also declined in the second half, down 4.9% on lower volumes. Lower exports of consumer goods (-5.6%) also contributed to weaker exports in the second half, as exports of food, beverage and tobacco products decreased.

Chart 12 Merchandise exports, selected commodities

Data table for Chart 12
Data table for Chart 12
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 12. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Energy - current dollars, Energy - chained 2007 dollars, Motor vehicles and parts - current dollars and Motor vehicles and parts - chained 2007 dollars, calculated using billions of dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Energy - current dollars Energy - chained 2007 dollars Motor vehicles and parts - current dollars Motor vehicles and parts - chained 2007 dollars
billions of dollars
2007
January 6.5 6.9 7.1 6.7
February 7.2 7.0 6.9 6.5
March 7.2 7.0 7.4 7.0
April 7.3 7.1 7.1 6.9
May 7.2 7.3 6.7 6.6
June 6.8 7.1 6.3 6.3
July 6.4 6.8 6.5 6.6
August 6.9 7.4 6.1 6.1
September 7.1 7.5 6.2 6.3
October 7.3 7.2 6.0 6.4
November 7.6 7.0 6.0 6.5
December 7.7 6.8 5.5 5.7
2008
January 8.4 7.3 5.0 5.2
February 9.1 7.3 5.7 6.1
March 9.8 7.3 5.5 5.7
April 10.4 7.3 5.2 5.4
May 11.2 7.3 5.0 5.2
June 12.0 7.4 5.4 5.5
July 12.1 7.3 5.3 5.4
August 11.0 7.4 5.2 5.1
September 10.4 7.4 5.0 4.9
October 9.6 7.7 4.7 4.2
November 7.9 7.6 4.8 4.3
December 6.1 7.1 4.4 3.9
2009
January 5.8 7.1 2.7 2.4
February 5.9 7.2 3.5 3.1
March 6.0 7.2 3.5 3.0
April 5.5 6.9 3.7 3.3
May 5.2 6.4 2.9 2.7
June 6.2 7.1 2.9 2.8
July 6.2 7.5 3.7 3.5
August 6.2 7.2 3.8 3.7
September 6.3 7.1 4.3 4.2
October 6.8 7.0 4.3 4.3
November 7.1 7.0 4.3 4.2
December 7.4 7.1 4.7 4.6
2010
January 7.4 6.8 4.2 4.2
February 7.3 6.7 4.6 4.6
March 7.1 6.8 4.7 4.8
April 6.9 7.0 4.7 4.8
May 7.0 7.7 5.1 5.1
June 6.5 7.2 5.2 5.2
July 6.6 7.2 5.0 5.0
August 6.6 7.1 5.2 5.2
September 6.5 7.0 4.9 5.0
October 6.6 7.1 4.8 4.9
November 7.0 7.2 4.5 4.6
December 8.1 7.6 4.5 4.6
2011
January 8.5 7.9 5.5 5.6
February 7.8 7.6 4.8 4.9
March 8.2 7.7 4.9 5.1
April 8.5 7.5 4.8 5.1
May 8.4 7.4 4.8 5.0
June 8.3 7.4 4.4 4.6
July 8.2 7.6 4.9 5.1
August 8.3 8.1 4.6 4.8
September 9.1 8.3 4.9 5.0
October 9.0 8.0 5.1 5.1
November 9.6 8.0 5.1 5.1
December 9.8 7.9 5.6 5.6
2012
January 9.7 8.2 6.1 6.1
February 9.6 8.4 5.6 5.8
March 8.8 8.1 5.4 5.5
April 8.6 8.5 5.7 5.8
May 8.2 8.1 5.6 5.7
June 8.2 8.3 6.0 5.9
July 7.8 8.1 5.8 5.8
August 8.2 8.2 5.9 6.0
September 8.3 8.2 5.6 5.7
October 8.7 7.9 5.6 5.7
November 8.9 8.4 5.8 5.9
December 8.6 8.1 5.5 5.6
2013
January 8.9 8.3 5.0 5.1
February 9.1 8.4 5.6 5.7
March 9.3 8.5 5.9 5.9
April 9.2 8.4 5.8 5.8
May 9.0 8.3 5.6 5.5
June 9.0 8.4 5.9 5.8
July 9.3 8.2 5.5 5.4
August 10.5 8.8 5.8 5.6
September 10.5 8.8 5.8 5.7
October 10.0 8.9 5.5 5.4
November 9.3 8.6 5.9 5.7
December 9.9 8.7 5.8 5.6
2014
January 10.8 8.4 4.8 4.5
February 12.1 8.4 5.7 5.4
March 12.5 8.7 5.9 5.4
April 10.8 8.5 6.0 5.6
May 11.3 9.0 6.6 6.2
June 11.3 9.2 6.2 5.7
July 11.1 9.1 6.5 6.1
August 10.5 8.9 6.0 5.5
September 10.4 8.9 6.4 5.9
October 9.9 8.8 6.3 5.7
November 9.5 8.5 6.3 5.7
December 8.4 9.0 6.5 5.8
2015
January 7.3 9.2 6.3 5.4
February 7.8 9.3 5.9 4.9
March 7.3 9.2 6.8 5.6
April 7.5 9.5 6.9 5.7
May 7.5 9.2 7.1 5.9
June 7.8 9.2 7.1 5.8
July 7.4 9.2 7.8 6.2
August 6.6 9.3 8.1 6.3
September 6.4 9.6 7.8 6.0
October 6.4 9.5 7.7 6.0
November 5.9 8.6 8.2 6.3
December 5.8 9.2 8.6 6.5
2016
January 5.5 9.6 8.9 6.5
February 4.4 9.0 8.8 6.7
March 4.9 9.2 8.3 6.6
April 5.1 8.8 8.0 6.4
May 5.3 8.7 7.8 6.2
June 5.5 8.6 7.8 6.2
July 5.8 9.0 8.5 6.7
August 6.2 9.4 8.0 6.3
September 6.2 9.3 8.0 6.2
October 6.9 9.6 8.2 6.3
November 7.4 9.9 8.0 6.1
December 8.4 10.4 7.5 5.9
2017
January 8.3 10.2 8.2 6.5
February 8.1 10.0 8.0 6.3
March 8.4 10.6 7.9 6.1
April 8.3 10.8 8.2 6.3
May 8.3 10.9 8.5 6.5
June 7.3 10.2 8.4 6.5
July 7.0 10.2 7.5 6.0
August 7.2 10.2 7.4 6.0
September 7.5 10.5 6.7 5.5
October 7.8 10.4 6.7 5.4
November 8.0 9.6 7.7 6.2
December 8.8 9.8 7.6 6.1
2018
January 8.9 9.6 7.1 5.8
February 8.8 9.8 7.5 6.1

Petroleum and coal products and machinery bolstered manufacturing sales

Following gains in the first half of 2017, total manufacturing sales edged up 0.4% during the second half of the year, supported by higher sales of petroleum and coal, machinery, and wood products. Higher sales by petroleum and coal manufacturers (+7.2%) led the gains, supported by higher prices. Lower sales by auto producers weighed on manufacturing sales in the second half.

For 2017 as a whole, manufacturing sales rose 6.0%, as broad-based gains were partly offset by lower sales of motor vehicles. Sales of petroleum and coal products rose 23.7%, following two consecutive annual declines, as prices for refined petroleum products partly recovered in 2017. Higher sales of machinery products and primary metals also contributed to the gain.

More recently, manufacturing sales declined 1.0% in January 2018 on lower shipments of motor vehicles, aerospace products and parts, and primary metals.

Continued strength in demand for autos supported retail sales

Total retail sales were 2.1% higher in the second half of 2017 than during the first six months of the year, reflecting continued strength among motor vehicle and parts dealers and price-led gains among gasoline stations. Excluding sales at gasoline stations, total retail sales rose 1.8% during the second half of the year. Higher sales in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec accounted for the bulk of the growth in the second half of 2017.

For 2017 as a whole, retail sales rose 6.7%, following a 5.1% gain in 2016, as all sub-sectors posted higher annual sales. Higher sales among motor vehicle and parts dealers accounted for over one third of the annual gain, as new motor vehicle sales continued at record levels in 2017, reflecting sustained increases in the demand for sport utility vehicles and pick-up trucks.  Higher sales in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec led the growth in 2017.   

More recently, retail sales edged up 0.3% in January 2018 supported by gains among general merchandise stores.

Home prices moderated in Toronto and accelerated in Vancouver

The increase in home prices, measured year-over-year, moderated in the second half of 2017, reflecting a deceleration in Greater Toronto (Chart 13). Based on estimates from the Aggregate Composite MLS Home Price Index, home prices were up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis at the end of 2017, down from a high of 19.7% earlier in the year. The pace of home price inflation, measured year-over-year, continued to slow in early 2018, edging down to 6.9% in February.Note 6

Following the introduction of the Fair Housing Plan by the Government of Ontario in April 2017, home prices in Toronto declined on a monthly basis from June to August, and continued to edge lower towards the end of the year. The increase in home prices in Greater Toronto, measured year-over-year, slowed to 7.2% in December 2017, after reaching a high of 31.3% earlier in the year. Home price inflation has continued to moderate in recent months, edging down to 3.2% in February 2018.     

In contrast, the increase in home prices continued to accelerate in Greater Vancouver in the second half of 2017, rising to 15.9% year-over-year in December. Price increases have continued to edge higher in recent months.

Meanwhile, home prices in Montreal have also risen higher, and were up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis in December 2017, increasing to 6.1% in February 2018.

Chart 13 Multiple listing service home price index, selected cities

Data table for Chart 13
Data table for Chart 13
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 13. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Aggregate, Greater Vancouver , Calgary , Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal, calculated using index (January 2005=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Aggregate Greater Vancouver Calgary Greater Toronto Greater Montreal
index (January 2005=100)
2005
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 100.9 100.6 101.0 100.9 101.2
March 101.9 101.2 102.4 101.9 102.4
April 102.8 101.7 103.5 102.7 103.1
May 103.9 103.2 105.0 103.5 103.6
June 104.8 104.7 106.1 104.0 103.9
July 105.4 106.2 107.0 104.1 104.1
August 106.1 107.5 108.1 104.4 104.5
September 107.0 109.3 109.4 104.7 105.3
October 107.6 110.0 110.8 105.1 106.0
November 108.1 110.8 112.1 105.2 106.4
December 108.6 111.7 113.9 105.3 106.4
2006
January 110.0 113.8 116.9 105.9 107.3
February 111.9 116.2 122.8 106.7 108.3
March 114.0 118.3 130.5 107.8 108.9
April 116.0 120.8 138.8 108.7 109.4
May 118.3 123.3 149.0 109.4 110.0
June 120.1 125.3 158.5 109.3 110.8
July 121.3 126.3 165.3 109.3 111.2
August 122.2 127.3 170.2 109.2 111.6
September 123.0 128.2 172.8 109.4 111.8
October 123.3 128.3 174.1 109.4 112.7
November 123.4 128.4 174.1 109.4 113.1
December 123.2 128.2 172.9 109.0 113.4
2007
January 124.2 130.0 174.2 109.5 113.9
February 125.9 131.4 177.3 110.9 114.7
March 127.8 132.8 182.3 112.1 115.4
April 129.7 134.8 186.7 113.3 116.1
May 131.6 136.7 191.0 114.5 116.9
June 133.1 138.5 193.3 115.4 117.7
July 134.1 139.7 194.7 116.0 118.8
August 134.8 141.0 195.1 116.4 119.3
September 135.3 142.1 194.6 117.0 119.6
October 135.6 142.8 193.1 117.7 120.0
November 135.7 143.5 191.0 118.0 120.5
December 135.6 144.0 188.5 118.0 120.8
2008
January 136.2 145.2 186.9 118.4 121.4
February 137.5 146.8 186.7 119.5 122.8
March 138.7 148.1 187.3 120.2 123.6
April 139.4 148.7 187.5 120.6 124.4
May 139.6 149.0 186.2 120.9 125.0
June 139.4 149.5 184.5 120.7 125.8
July 138.5 147.0 182.2 120.1 126.8
August 137.7 145.3 180.6 119.8 127.7
September 136.6 143.4 178.4 119.2 128.1
October 135.0 139.5 176.5 118.4 128.2
November 133.2 135.6 173.8 117.2 128.3
December 131.1 131.8 170.9 115.6 128.0
2009
January 129.6 131.0 167.1 113.8 128.2
February 128.8 130.0 164.4 113.1 128.2
March 128.7 129.1 163.2 113.7 128.1
April 129.4 130.8 162.1 114.8 128.3
May 130.6 132.6 162.6 116.4 128.6
June 131.8 134.5 163.9 118.2 129.1
July 133.2 136.8 165.2 119.9 129.8
August 134.7 139.1 166.7 121.7 130.4
September 136.2 141.6 167.9 123.4 131.1
October 137.5 142.8 169.2 125.1 131.9
November 138.6 144.7 170.2 126.6 132.6
December 139.4 146.3 171.0 127.4 133.1
2010
January 140.8 147.9 172.0 128.9 134.2
February 142.7 149.6 174.4 130.7 136.4
March 144.3 151.2 177.2 132.2 138.1
April 145.2 152.4 178.2 133.1 139.1
May 145.5 152.2 179.4 133.2 140.0
June 145.3 151.5 179.5 132.6 140.6
July 144.5 150.1 178.3 131.6 141.1
August 143.8 149.3 175.9 131.2 141.3
September 143.6 148.7 174.2 131.4 141.6
October 143.4 148.4 172.4 131.6 142.0
November 143.4 148.7 170.8 132.0 142.5
December 143.5 148.6 169.9 132.7 142.8
2011
January 144.3 150.1 169.1 133.8 143.8
February 145.9 151.6 170.2 135.9 145.5
March 147.5 154.4 171.1 137.4 146.7
April 148.9 157.7 171.9 138.8 147.3
May 150.0 159.3 172.7 140.1 147.5
June 150.5 160.5 173.8 140.6 147.3
July 150.9 161.1 173.8 141.3 147.6
August 151.1 161.2 173.3 142.0 147.7
September 151.1 160.8 172.5 142.3 147.9
October 151.3 160.2 171.6 143.1 148.4
November 151.1 159.7 170.9 143.3 147.8
December 150.8 159.0 169.5 143.9 146.1
2012
January 151.2 159.1 169.1 144.2 147.1
February 152.6 160.8 170.4 146.1 147.6
March 154.5 162.6 171.8 148.3 149.8
April 155.9 163.8 173.4 150.1 150.7
May 156.9 164.5 175.3 151.4 151.0
June 157.2 163.2 176.5 151.7 151.5
July 156.9 162.0 176.9 151.3 151.0
August 156.6 160.3 177.0 151.1 151.1
September 156.3 159.4 177.1 151.0 151.2
October 156.0 158.7 176.7 150.8 151.2
November 155.5 157.4 176.6 150.4 150.7
December 155.0 155.9 176.4 150.0 150.8
2013
January 155.0 155.2 177.2 149.9 150.9
February 156.0 155.8 178.9 150.8 151.9
March 157.5 156.5 180.7 152.9 153.2
April 159.0 157.7 183.1 154.7 153.8
May 160.2 157.7 185.1 156.0 156.2
June 160.6 158.6 186.3 156.7 155.1
July 160.8 158.7 187.3 156.8 154.7
August 161.0 158.6 188.1 157.1 154.7
September 161.1 158.7 189.0 157.4 154.7
October 161.6 158.6 190.9 157.9 154.7
November 162.0 159.3 191.9 158.9 154.6
December 161.8 159.2 192.5 159.2 153.9
2014
January 162.7 160.2 193.6 160.4 153.8
February 164.1 161.0 196.0 161.9 155.6
March 165.8 162.6 198.7 164.0 156.2
April 167.2 163.5 201.6 165.7 156.1
May 168.5 165.0 204.7 167.2 156.2
June 169.5 165.9 206.7 168.8 156.2
July 169.7 166.0 207.7 169.1 155.6
August 169.7 166.6 208.3 169.0 155.0
September 170.0 167.1 209.0 169.3 154.8
October 170.7 168.1 209.5 170.4 155.0
November 170.7 168.2 209.1 171.1 154.7
December 170.8 168.6 209.0 171.6 154.3
2015
January 171.2 169.4 209.5 172.2 154.5
February 172.7 171.6 208.8 174.4 155.3
March 174.4 174.6 208.4 176.9 156.8
April 176.2 177.7 206.9 179.8 157.7
May 177.8 180.8 206.8 182.1 157.7
June 179.1 183.2 207.5 184.0 158.0
July 180.0 185.0 207.4 185.1 158.3
August 180.5 187.1 207.3 185.9 157.4
September 181.5 190.6 207.3 187.0 157.0
October 182.1 193.9 206.4 187.6 157.1
November 183.1 198.2 205.4 188.3 157.0
December 183.5 200.6 204.1 188.9 157.2
2016
January 184.6 204.5 202.6 189.7 156.7
February 187.5 210.5 201.4 193.1 157.8
March 190.9 216.2 200.0 197.5 159.2
April 195.0 223.8 199.5 202.5 159.9
May 200.5 234.9 199.1 209.1 160.5
June 203.9 242.0 199.4 212.8 160.8
July 206.0 245.2 199.3 215.3 160.8
August 207.4 246.0 199.3 217.5 161.3
September 208.4 244.5 199.2 220.1 161.2
October 209.8 242.5 198.8 224.2 161.1
November 210.3 240.0 197.7 226.0 161.8
December 210.7 237.0 197.5 228.2 162.3
2017
January 214.2 236.8 197.2 232.5 162.5
February 218.4 239.7 197.0 239.6 163.0
March 226.4 244.0 197.5 254.1 164.7
April 233.4 249.8 198.0 265.8 166.0
May 236.2 256.5 199.6 268.6 166.7
June 236.1 261.1 200.6 266.7 167.5
July 232.3 266.5 201.4 254.3 168.7
August 230.4 269.2 200.9 248.5 168.8
September 230.3 271.2 200.4 247.0 169.4
October 230.2 272.5 199.3 246.0 170.3
November 229.8 273.7 198.2 245.0 170.9
December 229.9 274.6 196.7 244.6 171.1
2018
January 230.6 276.2 196.3 244.5 170.9
February 233.5 280.2 197.2 247.3 173.0

Monthly housing starts averaged 226,000 (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) during the second half of 2017, increasing from 214,000 in the first half of the year. Average starts in the second half increased in British Columbia and Quebec. Ground-breaking on new homes picked up in early 2018 on higher apartment starts in Ontario. Monthly starts in Ontario (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) rose from 66,000 at year end to 106,000 in February, led by increases in Toronto.

Both headline and core consumer inflation edged higher

After decelerating to 1.0% at mid-year, consumer price inflation strengthened during the second half of 2017, reaching 2.1% in November before slowing to 1.9% at year end.  During the second half of the year, transportation and shelter prices contributed the most to year-over-year increases in the headline rate. Prices for clothing and footwear continued to decline on a year-over-year basis during much of the second half, before edging up 0.5% in December.      

Food prices, measured year-over-year, rose during the second half of 2017, rebounding from declines in late 2016 and early 2017 (Chart 14). Prices for food purchased from stores edged higher in the second half, accelerating to 1.5% in December. Prices for food purchased from restaurants were 2.9% higher at year end than in December 2016.

Chart 14 Consumer price index, selected aggregates

Data table for Chart 14
Data table for Chart 14
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 14. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Food, Homeowners' replacement cost, Electricity and Purchase of passenger vehicles, calculated using year-over-year change (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Food Homeowners' replacement cost Electricity Purchase of passenger vehicles
year-over-year change (percent)
2007
January 2.3 7.8 4.2 -1.4
February 4.1 7.0 4.0 -1.0
March 3.7 6.9 3.8 -1.1
April 3.8 6.5 3.3 -1.2
May 3.5 6.0 -0.8 -0.3
June 3.1 6.1 0.8 0.5
July 2.8 6.2 1.5 -0.2
August 2.4 6.0 2.5 -1.3
September 1.9 5.2 2.1 -1.0
October 1.4 5.0 0.5 -2.5
November 1.1 4.9 1.0 -3.8
December 1.6 4.4 0.4 -4.0
2008
January 1.4 4.5 -0.9 -4.9
February 0.2 4.8 -0.8 -6.7
March 0.4 4.8 -0.7 -7.1
April 1.2 4.6 0.9 -6.6
May 1.9 4.0 1.5 -8.3
June 2.8 3.2 -0.1 -8.4
July 3.7 2.7 0.6 -8.9
August 4.5 2.3 -0.8 -7.4
September 5.6 1.8 -1.9 -9.4
October 6.1 1.5 -0.9 -9.0
November 7.4 0.7 2.5 -2.8
December 7.3 0.4 3.5 -3.6
2009
January 7.3 0.2 3.8 -8.2
February 7.4 -0.9 4.5 -6.5
March 7.9 -2.1 3.1 -7.5
April 7.1 -2.8 1.0 -8.3
May 6.4 -3.4 2.4 -6.6
June 5.5 -3.5 1.5 -5.2
July 5.0 -3.7 -0.2 -4.3
August 4.0 -3.8 2.2 -4.7
September 2.8 -3.7 2.3 -5.9
October 2.3 -3.1 1.0 -4.1
November 1.7 -2.1 0.3 -6.0
December 1.7 -1.2 -0.2 -3.3
2010
January 1.4 -0.7 0.3 3.1
February 1.2 0.3 -0.6 3.5
March 1.3 1.5 0.3 3.9
April 1.0 2.9 1.5 5.3
May 0.8 4.4 4.0 5.1
June 0.7 5.2 5.8 2.8
July 1.1 5.5 9.8 1.7
August 1.6 5.5 7.7 2.2
September 2.1 5.6 7.7 5.0
October 2.2 4.9 8.1 4.9
November 1.5 4.6 5.9 3.9
December 1.7 4.3 6.2 1.5
2011
January 2.1 3.6 6.4 0.8
February 2.1 3.5 4.3 -0.9
March 3.3 3.2 4.3 0.2
April 3.3 2.6 7.0 0.0
May 3.9 2.1 0.9 0.7
June 4.3 1.8 0.4 -3.1
July 4.3 2.0 -0.5 -1.0
August 4.4 2.0 1.7 0.3
September 4.3 1.8 -0.2 1.8
October 4.3 2.1 4.1 2.5
November 4.8 2.1 3.1 1.8
December 4.4 2.3 5.4 -0.2
2012
January 4.2 2.7 7.3 1.4
February 4.1 2.4 8.7 1.4
March 2.2 2.4 5.3 2.2
April 2.5 2.4 1.6 3.4
May 2.5 2.4 5.4 1.7
June 2.0 2.1 5.9 3.9
July 2.1 2.1 3.7 2.3
August 2.2 2.2 3.4 2.0
September 1.6 2.3 6.0 0.2
October 2.0 2.2 1.7 0.1
November 1.7 2.5 1.7 -1.8
December 1.5 2.2 -0.5 -0.6
2013
January 1.1 2.1 -1.4 -0.8
February 1.9 2.3 -1.1 2.5
March 1.8 2.1 2.5 0.8
April 1.5 1.9 4.2 -0.7
May 1.3 1.9 3.1 -0.5
June 1.2 2.1 2.2 2.0
July 0.8 1.8 3.2 2.0
August 1.0 2.0 1.6 0.6
September 1.2 1.9 1.9 1.4
October 0.9 1.8 1.5 1.7
November 1.1 1.5 5.1 0.4
December 1.0 1.4 4.1 1.4
2014
January 1.1 1.4 4.7 0.9
February 1.1 1.4 4.7 0.3
March 1.5 1.6 5.0 1.5
April 1.9 1.5 4.6 1.5
May 2.3 1.5 7.0 2.0
June 2.9 1.4 4.2 1.6
July 2.9 1.5 3.4 1.3
August 2.2 1.3 3.8 2.9
September 2.7 1.4 4.1 0.5
October 2.8 1.4 5.6 0.9
November 3.1 1.5 3.6 1.3
December 3.7 1.5 4.3 1.6
2015
January 4.6 1.5 3.7 1.2
February 3.9 1.3 3.8 -1.0
March 3.8 1.1 3.0 1.8
April 3.6 0.9 2.9 1.4
May 3.8 0.7 1.0 1.8
June 3.4 0.6 3.2 2.0
July 3.2 0.7 4.4 2.5
August 3.6 0.9 3.7 0.6
September 3.5 1.0 2.6 1.6
October 4.1 1.0 2.9 1.6
November 3.4 1.2 4.2 1.9
December 3.7 1.3 3.8 3.1
2016
January 4.0 1.4 6.0 4.0
February 3.9 1.6 6.3 5.0
March 3.6 1.9 7.5 3.2
April 3.2 2.3 6.5 4.6
May 1.8 2.7 6.4 4.3
June 1.3 3.5 6.9 5.6
July 1.6 3.6 5.4 5.4
August 1.1 4.0 5.6 5.2
September 0.1 3.9 5.9 5.8
October -0.7 4.1 5.3 4.4
November -0.7 4.4 3.5 3.0
December -1.3 4.3 3.6 2.6
2017
January -2.1 4.3 -0.7 3.8
February -2.3 4.1 -0.8 3.6
March -1.9 4.0 -1.6 2.1
April -1.1 3.9 -1.3 0.9
May -0.1 4.4 -5.5 0.2
June 0.6 4.1 -5.3 -0.2
July 0.6 4.1 -9.1 0.2
August 0.9 4.2 -8.9 0.7
September 1.4 4.0 -8.6 1.0
October 1.3 3.9 -8.4 1.9
November 1.6 3.6 -7.8 3.6
December 2.0 3.5 -7.7 3.7
2018
January 2.3 3.5 -5.0 1.4
February 2.1 3.6 -4.7 2.5

The homeowners’ replacement cost index, which in part reflects changes in new housing prices, moderated in the second half of the year, decelerating to 3.5% at year end, the slowest year-over-year increase since mid-2016. In contrast, the mortgage interest cost index accelerated during the second half of 2017, as chartered banks increased their lending rates in response to changes in the Bank of Canada’s policy rate. At year end, mortgage interest costs were 1.3% higher year-over-year.

Lower electricity costs continued to moderate the overall pace of consumer price inflation during the second half of 2017, reflecting the impact of the Ontario Fair Hydro Plan Act.   

After posting year-over-year declines from May to September, the durable goods index, which includes prices for passenger vehicles, accelerated to 1.5% in November and December. Prices for passenger vehicles were 3.6% and 3.7% higher on a year-over-year basis in those months.

The Bank of Canada’s preferred measures of core inflation edged higher during the second half of 2017. At year end, these three year-over-year measures (CPI-common CPI-trim, and CPI-median) ranged from 1.6% to 1.9%.Note 7

More recently, headline consumer inflation increased to 2.2% in February, after decelerating to 1.7% at the start of 2018. The Bank of Canada’s preferred measures of core inflation continued to edge higher in early 2018, as CPI-trim and CPI-median accelerated to 2.1% in February.  The mortgage interest cost index rose by 2.3% on a year-over-year basis in February, reflecting the impact of interest rate changes in the second half of 2017.

Equities strengthened in 2017 as energy, financials and industrials advanced

Toronto stock prices (S&P/TSX composite index) strengthened in the second half of 2017, following little net change over the first six months of the year (Chart 15). The composite index rose to 16,209 at year end, up 6.8% from June. Financials and industrials posted gains in the second half of 2017, while the Canadian energy index rose 12.1%, partly offsetting a 22.1% decline in the first half. The gold index at year end was little changed from levels at mid-year.

Chart 15 S&P/TSX, selected indexes

Data table for Chart 15
Data table for Chart 15
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 15. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), S&P/TSX composite index, Canadian energy index and Canadian financial index, calculated using index (January 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year S&P/TSX composite index Canadian energy index Canadian financial index
index (January 2007=100)
2007
January 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 100.1 98.1 100.4
March 101.0 101.2 102.2
April 102.9 103.7 102.4
May 107.8 111.1 104.3
June 106.7 110.7 101.7
July 106.4 109.8 98.5
August 104.8 104.0 100.6
September 108.2 107.4 102.5
October 112.2 111.6 104.5
November 105.0 101.5 101.4
December 106.1 108.7 96.2
2008
January 100.9 101.1 92.1
February 104.2 111.0 89.1
March 102.4 110.9 87.5
April 106.9 122.4 90.6
May 112.9 135.5 91.4
June 111.0 137.7 82.9
July 104.3 118.1 85.4
August 105.7 124.6 86.2
September 90.2 97.9 85.3
October 74.9 78.5 71.8
November 71.1 75.6 65.9
December 69.0 67.2 59.4
2009
January 66.7 63.7 54.9
February 62.3 61.0 48.8
March 66.9 67.2 54.9
April 71.5 72.9 63.5
May 79.6 85.0 69.5
June 79.6 82.2 73.5
July 82.8 81.7 81.4
August 83.4 81.1 81.9
September 87.4 89.7 84.0
October 83.7 87.9 77.5
November 87.8 88.7 80.7
December 90.1 92.3 82.2
2010
January 85.1 86.4 78.0
February 89.2 87.9 82.3
March 92.4 89.7 88.1
April 93.7 93.1 87.7
May 90.2 88.8 82.8
June 86.7 84.4 78.1
July 89.9 87.6 82.7
August 91.4 84.5 79.0
September 94.9 88.4 82.6
October 97.3 89.4 83.8
November 99.4 92.6 84.3
December 103.1 100.3 85.9
2011
January 104.0 105.6 86.4
February 108.5 112.6 91.8
March 108.3 110.8 93.2
April 107.0 107.9 91.6
May 105.9 104.3 91.4
June 102.0 98.1 89.4
July 99.3 96.4 84.0
August 98.0 88.4 83.0
September 89.2 75.0 79.5
October 94.0 84.9 80.9
November 93.6 85.0 77.5
December 91.7 83.4 79.4
2012
January 95.5 87.5 81.3
February 97.0 89.5 84.2
March 95.1 81.9 87.5
April 94.3 82.0 86.8
May 88.3 73.1 80.4
June 89.0 73.1 81.0
July 89.5 76.6 80.5
August 91.7 78.4 82.6
September 94.5 80.6 84.4
October 95.3 80.4 85.4
November 93.9 77.4 87.6
December 95.4 77.2 89.2
2013
January 97.3 79.0 92.0
February 98.4 78.9 94.6
March 97.8 78.6 92.3
April 95.6 76.4 91.7
May 97.1 78.4 93.3
June 93.1 75.6 92.2
July 95.8 78.9 96.0
August 97.1 80.2 97.4
September 98.1 81.9 99.1
October 102.5 84.0 105.2
November 102.8 83.1 107.8
December 104.5 84.7 108.9
2014
January 105.1 83.9 104.3
February 109.0 87.6 108.6
March 110.0 92.1 110.4
April 112.4 98.3 111.7
May 112.0 97.3 112.7
June 116.2 103.6 115.7
July 117.6 98.6 120.7
August 119.9 101.0 120.8
September 114.8 90.8 118.0
October 112.1 80.9 117.9
November 113.1 71.5 122.5
December 112.3 68.6 118.3
2015
January 112.6 67.1 108.4
February 116.9 68.9 116.6
March 114.3 67.5 114.7
April 116.8 73.5 118.3
May 115.2 68.3 116.3
June 111.7 63.8 114.5
July 111.0 58.1 114.1
August 106.3 56.8 110.4
September 102.1 51.7 109.7
October 103.8 55.6 113.2
November 103.3 55.0 114.4
December 99.8 50.3 110.3
2016
January 98.4 49.3 108.5
February 98.7 47.7 105.3
March 103.5 53.0 113.0
April 107.0 58.1 115.6
May 107.9 59.0 116.6
June 107.9 58.8 112.8
July 111.9 58.5 116.0
August 112.0 60.8 118.6
September 113.0 62.0 119.1
October 113.5 63.3 121.7
November 115.7 68.4 127.6
December 117.3 68.6 131.7
2017
January 118.0 62.7 134.2
February 118.1 61.2 135.6
March 119.3 62.0 135.1
April 119.6 60.9 132.6
May 117.8 57.5 129.8
June 116.5 53.4 132.6
July 116.2 55.2 132.5
August 116.7 52.9 132.6
September 120.0 59.0 137.6
October 123.0 60.1 143.1
November 123.3 59.0 143.5
December 124.4 59.9 144.1
2018
January 122.4 57.5 144.6
February 118.5 53.1 139.7

More recently, the S&P/TSX composite index declined by 1.6% in January and 3.2% in February as the energy and consumer indices posted consecutive declines.  

Bond yields and mortgage rates edged higher

Yields on benchmark Government of Canada five-year bonds rose in the second half of 2017 and in early 2018. Five-year bond yields were at 1.82% at the end of 2017, up from 1.16% a year earlier, before edging above 2% in early 2018. Chartered bank conventional five-year mortgage rates rose from 4.64% at mid-year to 4.99% at year end, before edging above 5% in early 2018 for the first time in nearly four years. The Bank of Canada raised the target for the overnight rate by 25 basis points in both July and September, followed by a third 25 basis point increase, to 1.25%, in January 2018.        

The value of the Canadian dollar appreciated against the U.S. dollar during the third quarter, before edging lower later in the year. The dollar traded as high as 82.5 cents U.S. following the Bank of Canada's September interest rate decision, before edging below 78 cents U.S. in late October.Note 8 The dollar edged higher in late 2017, closing out the year at 79.7 cents U.S.

More recently, the Canadian dollar traded above 81 cents U.S. in late January 2018. The dollar edged lower in February and March, trading around 78 cents U.S. in early April.

Commodity prices strengthened on increases in energy and non-energy products   

After little net change over the first six months of 2017, the commodity price index rose 7.9% during the second half of the year, bolstered by higher prices for energy products.  Energy prices rose 11.2% in the second half, rebounding from a 7.3% decline over the first six months of the year. Prices for forestry, metals and minerals, and fish also strengthened in the second half of the year.    

Overall commodity prices at the end of 2017 were 8.6% higher than price levels a year earlier. Excluding energy, commodity prices were up 14.8%, led by gains in forestry, metals and minerals and agriculture.  

Equities and investment funds supported increase in household net worth  

The net worth of households rose 2.1% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following little change (+0.1%) in the third (Chart 16). Increases in the market value of equity and investment fund shares led gains late in the year, supported by changes in the value of life insurance assets and pensions. Increases in residential structures and land also contributed to higher household net worth in the fourth quarter. Total household assets at the end of 2017 were valued at $13.05 trillion, while total financial liabilities amounted to $2.16 trillion.Note 9

Chart 16 Change in household net worth

Data table for Chart 16
Data table for Chart 16
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 16. The information is grouped by Year (appearing as row headers), Net worth, Non-financial assets, Financial assets and Financial liabilities, calculated using billions of dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Year Net worth Non-financial assets Financial assets Financial liabilities
billions of dollars
2007
Q1 163.9 93.2 91.9 -21.2
Q2 144.1 86.8 99.9 -42.6
Q3 67.8 56.7 47.8 -36.7
Q4 -6.1 40.9 -16.5 -30.5
2008
Q1 117.2 75.2 68.2 -26.2
Q2 156.2 70.9 125.0 -39.6
Q3 -282.3 33.6 -283.4 -32.6
Q4 -217.7 -50.4 -149.9 -17.4
2009
Q1 -61.7 -32.5 -21.6 -7.6
Q2 248.7 70.9 212.4 -34.6
Q3 224.7 84.0 168.9 -28.2
Q4 86.2 65.7 49.4 -28.9
2010
Q1 139.6 87.3 63.1 -10.8
Q2 -2.1 62.0 -30.3 -33.7
Q3 226.4 35.7 212.0 -21.3
Q4 165.7 49.0 138.6 -21.9
2011
Q1 201.8 91.8 111.9 -1.9
Q2 85.7 85.9 32.1 -32.3
Q3 -58.3 72.6 -105.9 -25.0
Q4 135.3 48.3 109.2 -22.2
2012
Q1 241.2 102.7 146.3 -7.8
Q2 62.6 98.8 -9.9 -26.3
Q3 176.6 58.1 142.8 -24.3
Q4 118.9 38.8 93.6 -13.6
2013
Q1 203.4 70.7 142.9 -10.2
Q2 -9.4 87.8 -71.8 -25.4
Q3 166.8 89.9 102.5 -25.6
Q4 264.0 63.7 215.3 -15.0
2014
Q1 243.5 71.2 179.7 -7.5
Q2 217.0 96.3 147.9 -27.2
Q3 102.3 60.5 70.2 -28.4
Q4 152.2 44.3 123.7 -15.8
2015
Q1 282.3 53.4 237.5 -8.6
Q2 22.4 105.5 -47.1 -36.0
Q3 -14.4 86.1 -68.1 -32.4
Q4 201.4 118.7 105.2 -22.5
2016
Q1 188.3 143.2 57.0 -11.9
Q2 201.2 85.5 156.1 -40.4
Q3 247.3 66.0 208.6 -27.3
Q4 140.0 118.5 46.0 -24.5
2017
Q1 241.2 141.8 112.1 -12.7
Q2 39.9 19.2 58.8 -38.2
Q3 14.7 10.4 33.0 -28.7
Q4 226.3 52.7 196.6 -22.9

The pace at which households have been accumulating debt slowed towards the end of the year. Household credit market debt rose 1.1% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.3% increase in the third. Higher mortgage debt accounted for about 60% of the increase in household debt liabilities late in the year. The ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income edged lower to 170.4% in the fourth quarter, while the household debt-to-asset ratio declined to 16.6%, and has generally trended lower since the 2008-2009 recession.

References

Gellatly, G. and R. Morissette. 2017. Non-residential Ownership of Residential Properties in Toronto and Vancouver. Initial data from the Canadian Housing Statistics Program. Economic Insights, no. 78. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Gellatly, G. and E. Richards. 2017. Recent Developments in the Canadian Economy: Fall 2017. Economic Insights, no. 75. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Richards, E and G. Gellatly. 2018. Recent Developments in the Canadian Economy: 2017 Chartbook. A presentation series from Statistics Canada about the economy, environment and society. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-631-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada. Bank of Canada’s preferred measures of core inflation. Last updated November 18, 2016. Available at: http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/document/2301_D63_T9_V1-eng.htm (accessed March 22, 2016).

Notes


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