Statistics Canada
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Gross Domestic Product by Industry

October 2007


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Economic activity increased 0.2% in October, after growing 0.1% in September. These increases occurred as the dollar appreciated significantly vis-à-vis its U.S. counterpart in both months. Both the goods- and services-producing industries advanced. Increases in manufacturing and wholesale trade propelled the growth, while a decline in mining dampened it. Growth was also recorded in the financial sector and retail trade. Conversely, agriculture and forestry declined.

Chart 1 Economy forges ahead in October

Wholesale trade continues to rise significantly

Wholesale trade rose 1.5% in October. Widespread gains pushed wholesale forward for the sixth consecutive month. The wholesaling of building materials, machinery and electronic equipment, automotive products, personal and household goods, all posted significant increases. These increases were dampened by declines in the wholesaling of grains, farm and petroleum products.

Chart 2 Widespread increases in wholesaling activities

Manufacturing sector rises in October

Manufacturing output increased 0.8% in October, after declining for two months. This growth came mainly from higher production of durable goods, helped in part by increased foreign demand. The growth in manufacturing occurred while the dollar appreciated 5.1% in October and 3.2% in September with respect to its U.S. counterpart.

The production of durable goods (+1.5%) significantly outpaced the decline of non-durable goods (-0.3%). Of the 21 major manufacturing groups, 11 increased, these accounting for 74% of total manufacturing value added.

Manufacturing of motor vehicles, machinery, and primary and fabricated metal products, propelled the increase. The declines in refineries, sawmills, and the manufacturing of paper products partially offset the gains. The volume of manufacturing inventories declined for a third straight month.

Energy sector retreats

The energy sector slipped 0.9% in October. Natural gas and petroleum extraction contracted 1.8%. Notable declines in output occurred in Eastern Canada due to production difficulties. Electricity production edged forward 0.6% in October while natural gas distribution advanced at a rapid pace (+3.7%).

The output of the mining sector excluding oil and gas fell 2.1% in October. Both metal ore (-1.5%) and non-metallic mineral mines (-2.9%) lost ground. However, mining support activities (which include oil and gas exploration) leaped 3.5%. In particular, the amount of contract drilling was up.

Industrial production (the output of mines, utilities and factories) increased 0.1% in October. The strength in manufacturing and utilities was partially offset by the decline in mining. In the United States, industrial production decreased 0.7% in October, with all three sectors losing ground.

Chart 3 Main industrial sectors’ contribution to total growth – October 2007
Education, health and public administration.

Retail trade advances

Retail trade advanced 0.3% in October. A surge in sales by new car dealers, gasoline stations, building and outdoor home supplies stores, and pharmacies, propelled the sector. However, sales of clothing, convenience, and general merchandise stores (which include department stores), retreated.

Construction up slightly

The construction sector edged up 0.1% in October. The increases in non-residential building construction (+0.2%) and engineering and repair work (+0.4%) slightly outpaced the drop in residential construction (-0.6%). The strength in commercial buildings was partially offset by the declines in industrial and public building construction. The gains in the construction of apartments and in residential alterations and improvements work were not enough to offset the decline in single-family homes.

Despite a general downward trend over the last few months, the home resale market registered a slight increase for October. As a result, the real estate agents and brokers industry posted a gain of 0.6% for the month.

Other industries

Activities in the finance and insurance sector increased 0.5%. Strong trading on the stock markets combined with healthy sales of mutual funds fuelled the sector. There was however a decline in new issues of securities. The forestry sector (-0.5%) continued to be affected by a major labour dispute that ended toward the end of October.