Economic activity down in october 2014

Québec, January 22, 2015 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices edged down 0.4% in October, following an increase of 0.7% in September and a decline of 0.1% in August. In Canada, GDP rose by 0.3% in October. Goods-producing industries were behind Québec’s decline. They recorded a drop of 1.4%, while output in service-producing industries increased by 0.1%. GDP for the first ten months of 2014 was up 1.5% compared with the same period in 2013. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 2.3%.

The declines observed in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, utilities, construction, manufacturing, retail trade and public administration largely contributed to the downturn seen in October.

Decline in the production of goods

In October 2014, goods-producing industries recorded a 1.4% decline, following an increase of 1.3% in September and a drop of 0.6% in August. Output was down in all sectors in October: agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (– 0.9%), mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (– 6.8%), utilities (– 4.5%), construction (– 0.7%), as well as manufacturing (– 0.4%).

Improvement in the production of services

Service production grew by 0.1% in October, following two consecutive increases (+ 0.4% in September and + 0.1% in August). Gains were recorded in real estate and rental and leasing (+ 0.2%), professional, scientific and technical services (+ 0.5%), educational services (+ 0.7%), and health care and social assistance (+ 0.3%). However, losses were observed in retail trade
(– 0.6%) and public administration (– 0.7%).

Downturn in the manufacturing sector

Output in the manufacturing sector was down 0.4% in October, following an increase of 1.8% in September and a drop of 0.8% in August. This decline was attributable to a 0.9% drop in durable goods manufacturing. Non-durable goods manufacturing increased by 0.3%.

Regarding industries that manufacture durable goods, the decrease was mostly due to primary metal manufacturing and transportation equipment manufacturing. As for non-durable goods industries, the increase was essentially attributable to the manufacturing of clothing, leather and allied products, chemicals, and plastics and rubber products.

Output levels increased in 12 out of 19 manufacturing sectors in October.

Construction industry down

Production in the construction industry was down by 0.7% in October, in the wake of an increase of 0.5% in September and a drop of 0.4% in August. The drop recorded in October was primarily due to a decline in residential construction. The slowdown in new single-family house construction was the main reason behind the drop in the residential sector. There was also a decline in residential renovation.

In the first ten months of 2014, output in the construction industry decreased by 2.2% compared with the same period in 2013. In Canada, output grew by 0.2%.

Upswing in wholesale trade and downturn in retail trade

Output in wholesale trade increased by 0.1% in October, in the wake of two consecutive increases (+ 1.0% in September and
+ 0.2% in August). The gains recorded by machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaler-distributors (+ 3.0%), and miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors (+ 4.2%) were behind the increase noted in October.

Output in retail trade was down 0.6% in October, following an increase of 0.8% in September and a drop of 0.1% in August. The decline in output in October was mainly due to losses registered by motor vehicle and parts dealers (– 3.2%) and furniture and home furnishings stores (– 4.4%).

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