Economic activity increases in August 2015

Québec, November 26, 2015 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices increased 0.3% in August 2015 after having decreased 0.5% in July. In Canada, GDP increased 0.1% in August. The growth in Québec was seen in both the goods-producing and service industries. Goods-producing industries rose 0.4% while service industries rose 0.2%. GDP in the first eight months of 2015 grew by 1.2% compared to the same period in 2014. In Canada, GDP growth was also 1.2%.

The increase in GDP in August was due to gains observed in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, retail trade, real estate and rental and leasing, and health care and social assistance. On the whole, 15 of the 20 major sectors of the Québec economy saw their production increase in August.

Goods production rose

In August 2015, goods-producing industries saw an increase of 0.4% after showing a decrease of 0.5% in July. All sectors contributed positively to the gains observed: agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (+2.6%), mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (+0.7%), utilities (+0.7%), construction (+0.2%) and manufacturing (+0.2%).

Services production up 

Service-producing industries gained 0.2% in August, after having dropped 0.5% in July and increased 0.2% in June. Gains were observed in retail trade (+1.0%), transportation and warehousing (+0.3%), real estate and rental and leasing (+0.4%) and health care and social assistance (+0.8%). However, decreases in production were observed in wholesale trade (–0.6%), finance and insurance (–0.4%) and educational services (–0.1%). On the whole, 10 out of 15 service sectors experienced growth in August.

Growth in manufacturing 

Manufacturing production increased 0.2% in August, after having decreased 0.9% in July and increased 2.1% in June. Growth in August was due to a gain of 0.7% observed in durable goods industries. Non-durable goods manufacturing decreased 0.5%.

Durable goods production responsible for the growth were manufacturing of wood products, machinery, non-metallic mineral products, and computer and electronic products. In contrast, declines in production were observed in primary metal transformation and transportation equipment manufacturing. In the non-durable goods industries, decreases were mainly observed in chemical manufacturing and rubber product manufacturing.

Upturn in the construction industry 

Output in the construction industry increased 0.2% in August after having decreased 1.2% in July and increased 0.5% in June. The gain in August can be essentially explained by the 2.3% increase in residential construction, itself mainly due to an increase in residential renovations. Growth was also observed in new housing construction (row houses and apartment buildings).

Wholesale trade down and retail trade up

Wholesale trade fell 0.6% in August after having fallen 2.7% in July and increased 1.8% in June. Declines observed in wholesale food, beverage and tobacco distribution (–1.6%) and miscellaneous wholesaling and distribution (–5.5%) explain the decrease in August.

Retail trade rose 1.0% in August after having increased 0.1% in July and decreased 0.3% in June. The growth in August was mainly due to gains produced by motor vehicle and parts dealers (+5.2%).

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