Economic activity up in January 2016

Québec, April 22, 2016 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices rose 0.9% in January 2016, following a 0.2% increase in December 2015 and a 0.2% decline in November. In Canada, GDP was up 0.6% in January. Both the goods-producing industries and the services-producing industries were behind Québec’s growth. Goods-producing industries recorded a 1.7% increase, while the output of services-producing industries rose by 0.6%. Moreover, GDP was up 1.7% in January 2016 compared with the same month in 2015. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 1.5%.

GDP growth in January was essentially due to gains in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, utilities, manufacturing, and retail trade.  Furthermore, 15 of the 20 major sectors of the Québec economy saw their output levels increase in January.

Increase in the production of goods

In January 2016, goods-producing industries grew by 1.7%, after a 0.4% increase in December and a 1.0% decline in November. Output was up in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (+8.2%), utilities (+3.7%), construction (+1.1%) and manufacturing (+1.9%). As for mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, output fell 8.3%.

Rise in service production

Output by services-producing industries rose 0.6% in January, after an increase of 0.1% in December. Several sectors saw growth in January, including wholesale trade (+1.2%), retail trade (+1.7%), transportation and warehousing (+1.3%), finance and insurance (+0.6%), administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (+2.5%), health care and social assistance (+0.6%), and public administration (+1.0%). However, educational services output declined (-1.0%).

Compared with the same month in 2015, services-producing industries grew 1.8% in January and goods-producing industries were up 1.4%.

Growth in the manufacturing sector

For the third month in a row, output in the manufacturing sector increased (+1.9% in January 2016, +1.6% in December 2015 and +0.4% in November). The rise in January can be attributed to an increase in both non-durable goods manufacturing (+1.4%) and durable goods manufacturing (+2.3%).

The main non-durable goods industries that contributed to that growth were food manufacturing and plastics and rubber products manufacturing. As for durable goods industries, the increase mainly stemmed from non-metallic mineral product manufacturing and metal product manufacturing.  Output levels were up in 14 out of 19 manufacturing industries in January.

Upturn in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry grew 1.1% in January, after an increase of 0.8% in December and a drop of 1.7% in November. The gains in January were essentially due to an increase in engineering construction and in residential construction. The increase in the residential sector was due to an upturn in the construction of new row houses and to growth in residential renovation.

Increase in both wholesale and retail trade

Output in wholesale trade rose 1.2% in January, following a 0.2% decrease in December and a 2.0% increase in November. The gains recorded by food, beverage and tobacco wholesaler-distributors (+2.5%), personal and household goods wholesaler-distributors (+1.6%) as well as by machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaler-distributors (+2.7%) were behind the increase seen in January.

Output in retail trade grew 1.7% in January, following a 1.6% drop in December and a 0.6% increase in November. The increase recorded in January was mostly due to the gains registered by motor vehicle and parts dealers (+6.6%). 

Other economic sectors

There were declines in the information and cultural industries (-0.6%), management of companies and enterprises (-0.3%) and arts, entertainment and recreation sectors (-0.9%). However, output increased in real estate and rental and leasing (+0.1%), professional, scientific and technical services (+0.4%), accommodation and food services (+1.3%) and other services (+1.2%).


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