Economic activity down in July 2015

Québec, October 22, 2015 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices dropped 0.3% in July 2015, following an increase of 0.6% in June and a 0.2% drop in May. In Canada, GDP rose by 0.3% in July. The service industries were behind Québec’s decline, with a 0.4% drop. Output in the goods-producing industries went down 0.1%. GDP for the first seven months of 2015 was up 1.3% compared with the same months of 2014. In Canada, growth was 1.2%.

The GDP drop in July was mainly due to losses recorded in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, health care and social assistance, as well as public administration. In addition, 12 of the 20 major sectors of the Québec economy saw their production decrease in July.

Production of goods down

In July 2015, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.1% decrease, following a 1.5% increase in June and a 1.1% drop in May. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-1.7%), construction (-0.8%) and manufacturing (-0.3%) all decreased their output in July. However, forestry, fishing and hunting (+1.1%) and utilities (+1.9%) increased their level of production.

Decrease in service production 

Services output decreased 0.4% in July, following a growth of 0.2% in June and 0.1% in May. Losses were recorded in wholesale trade (-2.6%), information and cultural industries (-0.9%), professional, scientific and technical services (-0.3%), health care and social assistance (-2.1%) and public administration (-0.6%). On the other hand, finance and insurance (+0.7%) and educational services (+1.0%) saw their production increase. In July, 9 out of 15 service sectors posted losses.

Furthermore, in the first seven months of 2015, service-producing industries grew 1.4%, while goods-producing industries were up 1.0% compared with the same period in 2014. In Canada, service-producing industries and goods-producing industries saw variations of +2.3% and -1.1%, respectively.

Slowdown in the manufacturing sector   

Output in the manufacturing sector was down 0.3% in July, following a 1.5% increase in June and a 0.9% decline in May. The July drop was essentially attributable to a 1.8% decrease in durable goods manufacturing. Manufacturing of non-durable goods saw its production increase by 1.9%.

The durable goods industries that were particularly affected by the slowdown are non-metallic mineral product manufacturing, primary metal transformation, and computer and electronic product manufacturing. As for non-durable goods industries, the increase was essentially due to food manufacturing, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, and plastics and rubber product manufacturing.

Downturn in the construction industry 

Output in the construction industry fell 0.8% in July, following two consecutive increases (+0.4% in June and +2.0% in May). All construction sectors saw their output decline in July, including residential construction. The decline in the residential sector is due to a slowdown recorded in new housing construction (single, double and row houses). There was also a decline in residential renovation.

Wholesale trade down and retail trade up 

Wholesale trade output fell 2.6% in July, following an increase of 1.7% in June and 0.3% in May The losses recorded in personal and household goods wholesaler-distributors  (-1.6%), particularly with machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaler-distributors  (-7.6%), are behind the drop in July.

Output in retail trade went up 0.1% in July, following three consecutive declines (-0.4% in June, -0.3% in May, and -0.9% in April). The output increase in July was mainly due to gains recorded in clothing and clothing accessories stores (+5.0%) and general merchandise stores (+2.1%).


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Sources:

  • Mario Beaulieu
    Economist
    Phone: 418-691-2411, Ext. 3172
  • Réjean Aubé
    Economist
    Phone: 418-691-2411, Ext. 3142
  • Information and Documentation Centre
    Phone: 418-691-2401
    or 1-800-463-4090 (toll free in Canada and the United States)

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