Economic activity unchanged in July 2014

Québec, October 23, 2014 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices remained unchanged in July, on the heels of two consecutive monthly increases (+ 0.4% in June and + 0.2% in May). In Canada, GDP also remained unchanged. In Québec, the gains recorded in goods-producing industries (+ 0.1%) were completely offset by the losses in service-producing industries (– 0.1%). GDP for the first seven months of 2014 was up 1.5% compared with the same months in 2013. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 2.4%.

The gains observed in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, real estate and rental and leasing, as well as in public administration were completely cancelled out by the declines recorded in utilities, wholesale trade, retail trade, as well as in transportation and warehousing.

The production of goods picked up

In July 2014, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.1% increase, essentially due to growth in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (+ 5.3%) and manufacturing (+ 0.5%). Similarly, output increased in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (+ 0.8%). However, utilities (– 2.3%) and construction (– 0.3%) were down.

Service production faltered

Service output edged down 0.1% in July. Losses were recorded in wholesale trade (– 1.0%), retail trade (– 0.5%), transportation and warehousing (– 1.1%), professional, scientific and technical services (– 0.4%), as well as in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector (– 2.3%). Output increased in finance and insurance (+ 0.4%), real estate and rental and leasing (+ 0.3%) as well as in public administration (+ 0.6%).

Manufacturing sector up

Output in the manufacturing sector went up 0.5% in July, following a 1.1% increase in June. The gain recorded in July was mostly due to a 1.0% increase in the manufacturing of non-durable goods. Durable goods manufacturing grew by 0.2%.

Regarding the manufacturing of non-durable goods, growth stemmed particularly from food manufacturing. As for industries that manufacture durable goods, the increase was essentially due to the manufacturing of wood products and furniture and related products.

Decline in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry was down 0.3% in July, following two consecutive increases (+ 1.5% in June and + 0.2% in May). The drop in July was essentially due to a decline in residential construction. The slowdown in new housing construction (singles, doubles and apartments) largely contributed to the decrease in the residential sector. There was also a decline in residential renovation.

In the first seven months of 2014, output in the construction industry decreased by 2.6% compared with the same period in 2013. In Canada, the corresponding rate was – 0.1%.

Decrease in both wholesale and retail trade

Output in wholesale trade was down 1.0% in July, in the wake of a 0.2% drop in June. The losses recorded by personal and household goods wholesaler-distributors (– 2.1%), motor vehicle and parts wholesaler-distributors (– 4.6%) as well as machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaler-distributors (– 1.5%) were behind the decrease registered in July.

Output in the retail trade industry slid 0.5% in July. The lower output in July was mostly due to losses recorded by food and beverage stores (– 3.4%) and general merchandise stores (– 2.8%).

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