Economic activity up in october 2013

Québec, January 23, 2014 – For the fourth month in a row, Quebec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices went up (+ 0.6% in October, + 0.1% in September, + 0.4% in August and + 1.4% in July). In Canada, GDP was up 0.3% in October. Both major industry sectors, i.e. goods production and service production, were behind Quebec’s growth. Goods-producing industries recorded a 1.5% rise, while service-producing industries increased their activity level by 0.2%. GDP for the first ten months of 2013 was up 1.1% compared with the same months in 2012. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 1.8%.

In October, GDP growth was widespread in almost all major industry sectors. Apart from information and cultural industries, every other major industry expanded in October. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, utilities, manufacturing and educational services all saw large increases in their output.

Rise in goods production

In October 2013, goods-producing industries recorded a 1.5% increase, essentially due to growth in utilities (+ 3.8%) and manufacturing (+ 1.1%). Output was also up in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (+ 3.7%) and in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+ 3.5%). The construction sector recorded a small 0.1% increase in October.

Rise in service production

Service production grew by 0.2% in October, following a rise of 0.1% in September and 0.6% in August. Gains were recorded in virtually all sectors. Most notably, wholesale trade (+ 0.5%), retail trade (+ 0.2%), transportation and warehousing (+ 0.7%) as well educational services (+ 1.0%). However, the information and cultural industries (- 0.8%) saw a drop in their output level.

Increase in the manufacturing sector 

Output in the manufacturing sector was up 1.1% in October, following an increase of 0.7% in September and a drop of 0.6% in August. Durable goods manufacturing dropped by 0.9% while non-durable goods manufacturing rose 3.9% in October.

Regarding industries that manufacture durable goods, sharp declines were observed in primary metal manufacturing, machinery manufacturing, computer and electronic product manufacturing, and electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing. As for industries that manufacture non-durable goods, the increase was essentially due to food manufacturing and beverage and tobacco manufacturing.

Small growth in the construction industry 

Production in the construction industry rose 0.1% in October. Production in residential construction posted a 0.4% drop, which is due to a decline in new housing construction (single, double and row houses). However, there were gains in residential renovation. In the first 10 months of 2013, production in the construction industry dropped 1.9% compared with the same period in 2012, whereas Canada experienced an increase of 1.3%.

Increase in both wholesale and retail trade 

Production in wholesale trade grew 0.5% in October, in the wake of a 0.4% drop in September and a 0.8% increase in August. Growth in October was mainly due to gains registered by miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors (+ 10.5%), including wholesaler-distributors of recyclable materials, paper and paper products, disposable plastic products, farm supplies, chemical and allied products, as well as other miscellaneous products.

Output in the retail trade industry rose by 0.2% in October. This increase followed a 0.6% rise in September and a 0.1% drop in August. Electronics and appliance stores (+ 10.7%) as well as health and personal care stores (+ 2.6%) both increased their output level.

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