Economic activity down in October 2015

Québec, January 21, 2016 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices edged down 0.5% in October 2015, following an increase of 0.2% in September. In Canada, GDP remained unchanged in October. Goods-producing industries were largely behind Québec’s decline, as they recorded a 1.4% drop. Output in services-producing industries was down 0.1%. GDP for the first ten months of 2015 was up 1.1% compared with the same months in 2014. In Canada, GDP grew by 0.7%.

The decline in GDP recorded in October was essentially due to losses in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, utilities, construction, manufacturing, and public administration. Furthermore, 15 of the 20 major sectors of the Québec economy saw their output levels decrease in October.

Decline in the production of goods

In October 2015, goods-producing industries recorded a 1.4% decline, following two consecutive increases (+0.7% in September and +0.8% in August). Output was down in all sectors: agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-0.9%), mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-4.6%), utilities (-4.3%), construction (-0.9%), and manufacturing (-0.4%).

Drop in service production

Output in services-producing industries declined by 0.1% in October, after two consecutive months of growth (+0.1% in September and +0.3% in August). Losses were recorded in wholesale trade (-0.4%), transportation and warehousing (-0.5%), professional, scientific and technical services (-0.4%), educational services (-0.3%), arts, entertainment and recreation (-2.0%), as well as in public administration (-0.5%). However, output increased in retail trade (+0.4%), real estate and rental and leasing (+0.2%), and health care and social assistance (+0.4%). Overall, 10 out of 15 services sectors recorded losses in October.

Slowdown in the manufacturing sector

Output in the manufacturing sector was down 0.4% in October, following a drop of 0.8% in September and an increase of 1.1% in August. The decrease posted in October was due to a 1.1% decline in non-durable goods manufacturing. Durable goods manufacturing was up 0.2%.

The non-durable goods industries that recorded the most significant declines were food manufacturing and plastics and rubber products manufacturing. As for durable goods industries, the increase mainly stemmed from metal product manufacturing and computer and electronic product manufacturing. Output levels declined in 11 out of 19 manufacturing industries in October.

Downturn in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry declined by 0.9% in October, after two consecutive months of growth (+0.9% in September and +0.7% in August). The decline in October was essentially due to a drop in residential construction, owing to a slowdown in new housing construction (single, double and row houses and apartments). However, there were gains in residential renovation.

Wholesale trade down and retail trade up

Output in the wholesale trade sector was down 0.4% in October, following an increase of 0.3% in September and a drop of 0.1% in August. The losses recorded by food, beverage and tobacco wholesaler-distributors (-2.9%) and personal and household goods wholesaler-distributors (-2.2%) were behind the decrease registered in October.

Output in retail trade went up 0.4% in October, after a drop of 0.7% in September and an increase of 2.3% in August. The increase recorded in October was mostly due to gains registered by clothing and clothing accessories stores (+12.6%) and general merchandise stores (+3.5%). In contrast, output declined by 4.5% in food and beverage stores.


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Sources:

  • Mario Beaulieu
    Economist
    Phone: 418-691-2411, Ext. 3172
  • Réjean Aubé
    Economist
    Phone: 418-691-2411, Ext. 3142

  • Information and Documentation Centre
    Phone: 418-691-2401
    or 1-800-463-4090 (toll free in Canada and the United States)

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