Québec’s gross domestic product down slightly in second quarter

Québec, September 25, 2015 – Gross domestic product at market prices edged down 0.1% in real terms in the second quarter of 2015, an annualized decline of -0.3% versus -0.5% for the Canadian economy. Compared with the first half of 2014, real GDP grew 1.3% in Québec and 1.5% in Canada. That was revealed in Comptes économiques du Québec, 2e trimestre 2015, a publication of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

GDP decline driven by external sector while domestic demand increases

Final domestic demand went up 0.3% in the second quarter, an increase that was observed across the board. Household final consumption expenditure rose by 0.3% and government consumption expenditure by 0.2%, while gross fixed capital formation increased by 0.5%.

This was the fifth consecutive increase in household consumption expenditure. An increase of 1.4% in spending on durable goods and of 0.7% in spending on services more than compensated for the drop in spending on semi-durable goods (-0.8%) and non-durable goods (-0.9%). Business gross fixed capital formation grew by 0.1% following three consecutive declines, and government gross fixed capital formation rose by 1.6%, up for the third consecutive quarter.

Business investment in residential construction fell 1.1% due to a 5.6% drop in new housing construction, while renovation activities (+1.5%) remained strong and home resale activities (+1.4%) registered growth. Business investment in non-residential construction declined by 0.2%. Business investment in machinery and equipment rose by 1.5%, while that in intellectual property was up 3.2%.

In the second quarter 2015, exports were up (+1.8%) following a decline in the first quarter, mainly due to international exports of goods (+3.4%), as exports of services decreased (-0.2%). Total imports grew by 2.1%; imports from other countries increased by 3.2% and those from other provinces by 0.2%. Since imports grew more than exports, the external trade deficit increased from $17.9 billion to $18.9 billion.

Increase in monthly GDP by industry

Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices was up 0.5% in June 2015, after declining by 0.3% in May. In Canada, GDP rose 0.5% in June. In Québec, the increase was essentially due to goods-producing industries, which grew 1.4%. Output in services-producing industries was up 0.1%. This was revealed in the June 2015 issue of Produit intérieur brut par industrie au Québec, juin 2015. published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

The rise in goods-producing industries came mainly from increases in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+9.5%), utilities (+4.1%), and manufacturing (+1.1%). In contrast, output was down in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-4.5%).

As for services, gains were recorded in wholesale trade (+1.5%) transportation and warehousing (+1.0%), and finance and insurance (+0.6%). Health care and social assistance (-0.5%) as well as public administration (-1.3%) were down.

Output in the manufacturing sector rose 1.1% in June, after declining 1.7% in May. This increase was attributable to a 2.1% gain in durable goods manufacturing. Non durable goods manufacturing decreased by 0.3%. Regarding industries that manufacture durable goods, the increase was mostly due to wood product manufacturing, metal product manufacturing, and computer and electronic product manufacturing.

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