Québec gross domestic product increased 0.7% in fourth quarter of 2013

Québec, March 26, 2014 – Gross domestic product at market prices (GDP) rose 0.7% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2013, an annualized increase of 3.0% compared to 2.9% for the Canadian economy. This GDP growth in the fourth quarter is mainly due to a rise in inventories and household spending, while investment in fixed capital decreased and the foreign trade balance worsened. This was revealed in the Institut de la statistique du Québec publication Comptes économiques du Québec, 4ième trimestre 2013.

Québec gross domestic product increased 1.1% in 2013

In 2013, real growth in the Québec economy stood at 1.1% compared to 1.5% in 2012. This GDP growth is mainly due to improvements in the foreign trade balance and final consumption expenditure. Final domestic demand increased 0.5% in 2013, a slower rate than that of 2.0% recorded in 2012.

Household spending on goods and services posted a 2.1% growth rate in 2013, a faster rate than that of 1.2 % recorded in 2012, both because of  increases in goods (+ 2.0%) and services (+ 2.2%). Spending on non-durable goods (+ 1.7%), durable goods (+ 2.3%) and semi-durable goods (+ 2.4%) all grew more rapidly than in 2012.

However, in 2013, gross fixed capital formation posted a 4.1% drop after three years of growth. Business fixed capital investment (– 5.6%) edged down, while government investment (+ 0.6%) continued to rise. Businesses curtailed their investments in residential construction (– 5.1%). New housing construction activities plunged by 12.6% after having increased 2.9% in 2012, while renovation activities (+ 3.2%) continued to increase their growth rate. Business investment in non-residential structures (– 5.5%) also decreased as well as investment in machinery and equipment (– 6.6%) and intellectual property (– 5.5%).

Total exports of goods and services rose by 3.8% in 2013, after a 1.6% increase in 2012. International exports (+ 5.2%) increased the most, compared with exports to other provinces (+ 1.9%). Total imports (+ 0.5%) slowed their growth rate compared to what was recorded in the last three years. This slowdown was observed in international imports (+ 1.2%), while a 0.8% drop was recorded for imports from other provinces. The foreign trade balance deficit dropped by $23.9 billion, the first improvement in 11 years. This is due to a lower international trade deficit, combined with growth in the interprovincial trade surplus.

Slight decline in monthly GDP by industry in December

Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices declined 0.1% in December 2013, on the heels of a 0.1% drop in November and a 0.7% increase in October. In Canada, the GDP edged down 0.5% in December. The service-producing industries were behind Québec’s decline, posting a 0.2% loss, while goods-producing industries increased their activity level by 0.3%. This was revealed in the December 2013 issue of Produit intérieur brut par industrie au Québec, a publication of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

The December decline was mainly due to a production drop in utilities (– 1.7%), wholesale trade (– 1.5%), retail trade (– 1.4%) and accommodation and food services (– 1.8%). However, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+ 4.4%) as well as manufacturing increased their production level.

Output in the manufacturing sector was up 0.8% in December, following a 2.5% drop in November and a 1.4% rise in October. The rise in December was essentially attributable to a 1.4% increase in durable goods manufacturing, while non-durable goods manufacturing grew by 0.1%. As for industries that manufacture durable goods, the increase was essentially due to primary metal transformation and furniture and related product manufacturing. In December 2013, output levels increased in 10 out of 19 manufacturing sectors.

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