Economic activity down in November 2015

Québec, February 23, 2016 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices edged down 0.4% in November 2015, following a decline of 0.5% in October. In Canada, GDP rose by 0.3% in November. The goods-producing industries were behind Québec’s decline. They recorded a 1.6% drop, while output in services-producing industries remained unchanged. GDP for the first eleven months of 2015 was up 0.9% compared with the same months in 2014. In Canada, GDP grew by 0.7%.

The GDP decline recorded in November was essentially due to losses in utilities, construction, administrative and support, waste management and remediation services, health care and social assistance, as well as in public administration. Furthermore, 12 of the 20 major sectors of the Québec economy saw their output levels decrease in November.

Decline in the production of goods

In November 2015, goods-producing industries recorded a 1.6% drop, following a 1.5% decline in October. Output was down in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-0.1%), utilities (-7.3%), construction (-2.0%) and manufacturing (-0.1%). As for mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, output remained stable.

Output in services-producing industries unchanged

Service output remained unchanged in November, after a 0.2% decline in October and a 0.1% increase in September. The gains recorded in wholesale trade (+1.1%), retail trade (+1.0%), transportation and warehousing (+0.9%), accommodation and food services (+0.7%) and in other services (+1.2%) were completely cancelled out by the losses observed in finance and insurance (-0.4%), administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (-1.4%), health care and social assistance (-0.9%) and public administration

Slowdown in the manufacturing sector 

For the third month in a row, output in the manufacturing sector decreased (-0.1% in November, -0.6% in October and -0.6% in September). The decline in November was due to a 0.3% drop in non-durable goods manufacturing. Durable goods manufacturing output remained unchanged.

The non-durable goods industries that recorded the most significant declines were food manufacturing, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, and plastics and rubber products manufacturing. As for durable goods industries, the increase in miscellaneous manufacturing was completely offset by the drop in primary metal manufacturing. Output levels declined in 10 out of 19 manufacturing industries in November.

Downturn in the construction industry 

Output in the construction industry was down 2.0% in November, in the wake of a 1.0% decline in October and a 1.2% increase in September. The drop in November was primarily due to the decline recorded in engineering construction and residential construction. The decrease in the residential sector was due to a slowdown in new housing construction (single, double and row houses and apartments). However, there were gains in residential renovation.

Increase in both wholesale and retail trade 

Output in the wholesale trade sector was up 1.1% in November, following a drop of 0.5% in October and an increase of 0.5% in September. The gains recorded by food, beverage and tobacco wholesaler-distributors (+2.7%) and miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors (+3.8%) were behind the increase posted in November.

Output in retail trade went up 1.0% in November, after an increase of 0.6% in October and a decline of 0.7% in September. The higher output in November was mostly due to the gains recorded by food and beverage stores (+3.7%) and health and personal care stores (+3.2%).


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