Québec’s gross domestic product up in third quarter

Québec, December 21, 2016 – Real gross domestic product at market prices rose 0.5% at the seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter of 2016, after an increase of 0.9% in the first quarter and 0.3% in the second. In Canada, growth rebounded  (+0.9%) in the third quarter, following a drop in the previous quarter (– 0.3%). After nine months, Québec’s GDP rose by 1.7% when compared with the same period in 2015, while the Canadian economy rose by 1.2%. This was revealed in Comptes économiques du Québec, 3e trimestre 2016, published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

The Québec economy’s growth in the third quarter was mainly stimulated by household final consumption expenditures and the rebound in the accumulation of inventory; during the same period, however, government expenditures shrank. Investments remained stable, and the negative external trade balance increased.

Household final consumption expenditures rapidly increasing

For the fifth consecutive quarter, household final consumption expenditures rose (+0.8%), as much for the purchase of goods (+0.6%) as for that of services (+0.9%). The increases observed in the spending of durable (+0.9%) and semi-durable (+2.5%) goods were sufficient to offset the drop observed in the consumption of non-durable goods (– 0.1%). The cumulative growth of household final consumption expenditures rose to 2.2% in 2016, compared with an overall 1.1% increase in 2015. General government final consumption expenditures, for their part, were down (–0.2%).

For the third consecutive quarter, business gross fixed capital formation increased (+0.1%) following a decline over nine consecutive quarters. Residential structure investment rose (+1.1%) as a result of the resale of existing properties (+2.0%) and renovations (+1.9%). New residential construction investment experienced a downturn for the second consecutive quarter (–0.2%). Business investment in non-residential structures (+0.3%) grew, contrary to investment in machinery and equipment (– 1.1%) and intellectual property (– 2.0%). Government gross fixed capital formation shrank (– 0.2%) for the fifth consecutive quarter, on account of the decrease in construction investment (–1.7%).

In the third quarter of 2016, goods and service exports were up (+0.8%), mainly on account of an upswing in the international exports of goods (+0.7%). The rise in imports was steeper (+1.3%), resulting in the second consecutive deterioration in the external trade balance, which attained – $7.7 B.

Monthly GDP rose in September

Québec’s gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices rose 0.3% in September 2016 after a 0.4% drop in August and 0.5% increase in July. In Canada, GDP rose 0.3% in September. In Québec, this growth was mainly on account of the gains recorded in goods-producing industries (+0.7%). Service-producing industries increased their activity level by 0.1%.

In September 2016, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.7% increase, following a 1.3% drop in August and 1.0% increase in July. The growth in September was mainly attributable to construction (+1.5%) and manufacturing (+1.5%). However, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (– 0.8%); mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (– 0.2%); and utilities (– 2.2%) decreased their production.

Output in service-producing industries went up 0.1% in September, after remaining stable in August and rising 0.3% in July. Significant gains were recorded in real estate and rental and leasing (+0.3%), educational services (+1.4%) and health care and social assistance (+0.4%). However, wholesale trade (–1.9%) and information and cultural industries (–1.4%) reduced their production.

Output in the manufacturing industry went up 1.5% in September, following a 1.8% decline in August and a 1.7% increase in July. September’s growth was attributable to both durable goods (+1.8%) and non-durable goods (+1.1%) manufacturing.


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