Québec gross domestic product up in third quarter

Québec, December 19, 2014 – Gross domestic product at market prices rose 0.4% in real terms in the third quarter of 2014, an annualized increase of 1.5%. Compared with the first three quarters of 2013, real GDP grew 1.5% in Québec versus 2.4% in Canada. That was revealed in Comptes économiques du Québec, 3e trimestre 2014, a publication of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

In the third quarter, growth was essentially due to an improved foreign trade balance, as final domestic demand hardly advanced despite larger fixed capital investment and accumulation of inventories slowed.

After rising by 0.8% in the previous quarter, household final consumption expenditure held steady due to a 0.4% increase in services expenditure that was offset by a 0.4% drop in goods expenditure. Expenditure on semi-durable goods (+ 1.9%) and durable goods (+ 0.4%) slowed compared with the second quarter, while non-durable goods expenditure (– 1.3%) declined for the second consecutive quarter.

Both business gross fixed capital formation (+ 0.9%) and government gross fixed capital formation (+ 0.8%) were up for the second consecutive quarter following a decline in the first quarter. Business investment in residential construction accelerated, posting a 2.8% growth rate due to renovation activities (+ 5.4%), while new housing construction (– 0.4%) decreased for the fourth quarter in a row. Business investment in non-residential structures decreased by 2.9%. This was the fourth consecutive decline. Investment in machinery and equipment grew by 0.9%, not as quickly as in the second quarter (+ 2.3%), but faster than in the first quarter (+ 0.4%).

Total exports of goods and services were up 0.7% from the first quarter, with a more substantial increase of 3.3% in the second quarter. International exports of goods (+ 0.6%) led the growth in international exports (+ 0.4%) for the third consecutive quarter. Exports to other provinces (+ 1.0%) of both goods (+ 1.1%) and services (+ 1.0%) also contributed to this growth. Total imports of goods and services contracted by 0.2%, after rising 3.1% in the second quarter. The increase in total exports, combined with the decline in total imports, caused the external trade deficit to go down $1.4 billion.

GDP by industry up 0.6% in September

Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices edged up 0.6% in September 2014, on the heels of a 0.2% decline in August. In Canada, GDP rose 0.4% in September. Goods-producing industries recorded a 1.3% increase, while the activity level of service-producing industries rose by 0.4%. This was revealed in the September 2014 issue of Produit intérieur brut par industrie au Québec published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

The rise in goods-producing industries came from increases in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+ 5.2%) and manufacturing (+ 1.6%). In addition, output went up in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (+ 1.4%), utilities (+ 0.1%), and construction (+ 0.6%).

Service output grew by 0.4% in September following an increase of 0.1% in August and a drop of 0.1% in July. Apart from accommodation and food services, every other service sector expanded in September. More specifically, wholesale trade (+ 1.0%), retail trade (+ 1.0%), transportation and warehousing (+ 0.8%), finance and insurance (+ 0.4%) as well as public administration (+ 0.7%) saw significant growth.

Output in the manufacturing industry went up 1.6% in September, following a 1.5% decline in August and a 0.5% increase in July. The rise in September was essentially attributable to the gains recorded in the durable goods manufacturing sector (+ 2.2%). Non-durable goods manufacturing increased its output by 0.7%. Output levels increased in 11 out of 19 manufacturing sectors in September.

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