Canadian real GDP unchanged in October, following four straight monthly increases, as decline in goods-producing industries offset a gain in manufacturing

OTTAWA , December 23, 2011 () – Real gross domestic product was unchanged in October, following four consecutive monthly increases. The output of the goods-producing industries fell 0.2% in October as a result of declines in utilities, construction, and mining and oil and gas extraction. These declines offset a gain in manufacturing. Services increased 0.2%, led by retail trade and, to a lesser extent, finance and insurance, the public sector and professional services. Conversely, wholesale trade and some tourism-related industries fell.

Declines in utilities and mining and oil and gas extraction

The utilities sector decreased 1.5% as a result of lower demand for both electricity and natural gas.

Mining and oil and gas extraction declined 0.2%, largely because of lower output of non-metallic mineral mines (which include potash and diamond mines). Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction were down slightly, following gains in the previous two months. Oil and gas extraction edged up 0.1% as higher natural gas production offset the decline in oil extraction.

Construction down, home resale market up

Construction decreased 0.4% in October, with lower residential and non-residential building construction accounting for almost all of the decline. Construction of single-family dwellings was particularly weak. Reduced public and commercial construction led the decline in non-residential building construction.

Sales of existing homes increased across the country, resulting in a 1.3% increase in the output of real estate agents and brokers.

Increase in manufacturing

Manufacturing production increased 0.3% in October, led by gains in transportation equipment (particularly motor vehicle parts), wood products, plastics and rubber products, and food manufacturing. Declines were recorded in paper, furniture and related products, primary metals, as well as beverage and tobacco manufacturing.

Retail trade up, wholesale trade down

Retail trade grew 0.6% in October, marking the third consecutive monthly increase. Gains in October were widespread but more notable in motor vehicle and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, and health and personal care stores. Declines were recorded in furniture and home furnishing, miscellaneous, and general merchandise stores.

Wholesale trade decreased 0.3% in October after edging up 0.1% in September. Declines in the wholesale trade of personal and household goods and petroleum products outweighed gains in food products, motor vehicles and parts, and building materials.

Finance and insurance sector increases

The finance and insurance sector rose 0.3% following a 1.0% decline in September. Gains were led by an increase in mutual fund activity as well as in several components of traditional banking services. Conversely, there were declines in residential mortgages, personal loans, and business loans. Lower activity at insurance carriers was also recorded.

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