Economic activity down in November 2013

Québec, February 20, 2014 – After four months of consecutive growth, Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices declined 0.2% in November (+ 0.5% in October and + 0.2% in September).  In Canada, GDP rose by 0.2% in November. The goods-producing industries were behind Québec’s decline. They posted a 1.4% decrease, while service-producing industries increased their activity level by 0.3%. During the first eleven months of 2013, GDP was up 1.2% compared with the same months in 2012. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 1.9%.

The GDP drop in November was essentially due to a decrease in the manufacturing sector. However, other sectors also posted notable drops, namely agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, as well as construction, administrative and support, waste management and remediation services.

Production of goods down

In November 2013, goods-producing industries posted a 1.4% decline, which was essentially due to output losses in manufacturing (– 2.4%), agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (– 5.0%), construction (– 1.2%) and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (– 0.3%). However, utilities (+ 2.4%) increased their level of production.

Rise in service production

For the fifth month in a row, service-producing industries increased their output level (+ 0.3% in November, + 0.3% in October and + 0.1% in September). Significant gains were recorded in retail trade (+ 1.3%), finance and insurance (+ 0.4%), real estate and rental and leasing (+ 0.4%), educational services (+ 0.8%), and public administration (+ 1.0%). Output levels decreased in administrative, support, waste management and remediation services (– 1.3%) and health care and social assistance (– 0.2%).

Manufacturing sector down  

Output in the manufacturing sector was down 2.4% in November, following increases of 0.8% in October and 0.6% in September. Durable goods manufacturing dropped by 2.4%. Similarly, non-durable goods manufacturing fell by 2.4% in November. 

Except for wood product manufacturing, all other durable goods manufacturing sectors posted drops in November. Strong decreases were observed in primary metal manufacturing, furniture and related products manufacturing and in miscellaneous manufacturing. As for non-durable goods industries, the drop was essentially due to manufacturing of paper, chemical manufacturing, and plastics and rubber product manufacturing.

Downturn in the construction industry 

Output in the construction industry dropped 1.2% in November. Production in residential construction posted a 4.1% decrease due to a slowdown in new housing construction (singles, doubles and apartments). There was also a decline in residential renovation. In the first 11 months of 2013, production in the construction industry fell 2.0% compared with the same period in 2012, whereas Canada experienced an increase of 1.1%.

Increase in both wholesale and retail trade 

Output in the wholesale trade rose by 0.1% in November, following a 0.3% increase in October and 0.3% drop in September. Gains registered in the output of food, beverage and tobacco wholesaler-distributors (+ 4.1%), as well as in the output of machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaler-distributors (+ 2.1%) were almost offset by losses recorded in output of miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors (– 8.1%).

Output in the retail trade industry went up 1.3% in November. This gain followed a 0.4% rise in October and a 0.8% increase in September. More specifically, motor vehicle and parts dealers (+ 3.6%) as well as health and personal care stores (+ 3.3%) significantly increased their output level.

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