Québec gross domestic product up in third quarter

Québec, January 21, 2016 – Gross domestic product at market prices rose 0.3% in real terms in the third quarter of 2015, an annualized increase of 1.1%. Compared with the first three quarters of 2014, real GDP grew 1.1% in Québec versus 1.5% in Canada. That was revealed in Comptes économiques du Québec, 3e trimestre 2015, a publication of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

In the third quarter, growth was essentially due to an improved foreign trade balance. Final domestic demand hardly increased despite a rise in household final consumption expenditure, and accumulation of inventories slowed.

After rising 0.1% in the previous quarter, growth in household final consumption expenditure regained momentum in the third quarter (+0.5%) due to an increase of 0.8% in goods expenditure and of 0.2% in services expenditure. Expenditure on durable goods (+2.3%), semi-durable goods (+0.1%) and non-durable goods (+0.3%) accelerated compared with the second quarter, which saw a decline in household final consumption expenditure on goods.

Both business (-0.3%) and government (-1.8%) gross fixed capital formation were down in the third quarter. Business investment in residential construction rebounded after declining two quarters in a row, posting a 2.5% growth rate due to new housing construction (+8.3%). Renovation activities were down 0.7% and commissions declined by 0.4%. Business investment in non-residential structures decreased by 1.6%. This was the eighth consecutive decline. Investment in machinery and equipment was down 5.3% after increasing 1.0% in the second quarter. Investment in intellectual property decreased by 0.8%.

Total exports of goods and services dropped 0.1% in the third quarter following a 2.7% increase in the second quarter. International exports of goods (-0.4%) were behind the decline in international exports (-0.3%), as exports of services expanded (+0.3%). Exports to other provinces (+0.3%) of both goods (+0.2%) and services (+0.4) lessened the decline. Total imports of goods and services contracted by 0.9%, after rising 1.8% in the second quarter. Since the decline in total imports was greater than the decline in total exports, the foreign trade balance improved by $1.5 billion.

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