Canadian GDP edged down 0.1% in November following zero growth in October; most of November decline driven by lower output in the energy sector

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

Jan 31, 2012 – Statistics Canada

OTTAWA , January 31, 2012 () – Real gross domestic product edged down 0.1% in November, following no growth in October and monthly increases from June to September. Most of the November decline was accounted for by lower output in the energy sector. Decreases were also recorded in wholesale trade, finance and insurance, and construction. Gains were posted in manufacturing, retail trade, accommodation and food services, professional services and real estate agents and brokers.

Oil and gas extraction falls

Oil and gas extraction declined 2.5% in November. The decrease in output of crude petroleum, partially a result of maintenance shutdowns, led the decline. Lower extraction of natural gas was also recorded. Exports of crude petroleum and natural gas were down. Support activities for oil and gas extraction fell 3.8%, particularly because of decreases in drilling activity. However, mining excluding oil and gas extraction grew 0.3% as a result of increased overall production at copper, nickel, lead and zinc mines.

Manufacturing output continues to rise

Manufacturing increased (+0.6%) for the third consecutive month. Growth was mainly based in the production of durable goods (+0.9%) as opposed to non-durable goods (+0.1%). Manufacturers of machinery and of transportation equipment (primarily motor vehicles) benefitted from an increase in foreign demand during the month. Gains were also posted in fabricated metal products, furniture and related products, and primary metal products. Manufacturing of computer and electronic products was down, as was wood products.
Wholesale trade declines while retail trade continues to grow

Wholesale trade retreated 0.6%, mainly because of lower wholesaling of miscellaneous products (which include agricultural supplies). Conversely, retail trade grew 0.6%, a fourth consecutive monthly increase. The November growth was largely the result of increased activity at motor vehicle and parts dealers and at clothing stores.
Construction down, home resale market up

Construction was down 0.3% as both residential and non-residential building construction decreased. Engineering and repair work was unchanged in November. In the residential sector, construction of single-family dwellings continued to decline. In non-residential building construction, the decrease in institutional and commercial buildings outweighed the increase in industrial buildings.

Activity in the home resale market increased in November, particularly in Eastern Canada, resulting in a 2.2% rise in the output of real estate agents and brokers.
The finance and insurance sector declines

The finance and insurance sector decreased 0.4%, mainly as a result of lower volume of trading on the stock exchanges. Sales of mutual funds were down slightly. The output of insurance carriers was unchanged.
Other industries

The utilities sector was down 0.6%, as unseasonably warm weather contributed to lower demand for electricity.

Some tourism-related industries, such as air transportation and accommodation and food services, grew in November.

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