Québec, June 28, 2016 – The gross domestic product at market prices rose 0.5% in the first quarter of 2016, an annualized increase of 2.0%. In Canada, a 0.6% increase was recorded in the first quarter, an annualized increase of 2.4%. Regarding the first quarter of 2015, the real GDP grew 1.0% in Québec and 1.1% in Canada. These are the figures from Comptes économiques du Québec, 1er trimestre 2016, published by Institut de la statistique du Québec.
GDP growth mainly due to household final consumption expenditure
In the first quarter, the final domestic demand rose 0.4%, the first such increase since the third quarter of 2013. The increases in household final consumption expenditure (+0.8%) and public administration (+0.3%) were counterbalanced by gross fixed capital formation (-1.0%), which dropped for the seventh consecutive quarter.
Growth in household final consumption expenditure was mainly observed in the purchase of goods (+1.4%), while service expenditure was up 0.3%. Durable goods spending rose 2.6%, followed by spending in non-durable goods (+1.1%) and semi-durable goods (+0.4%). Business gross fixed capital formation (-1.1%) declined for the tenth consecutive quarter, while government gross fixed capital formation went down 0.6%.
Business investment in residential construction fell 1.1% in the first quarter, a drop mainly due to renovation activities, which shrank by 2.1%. Investments in new residential construction dipped slightly (-0.4%), while the resale of existing residential properties went up 0.5%. Investments in non-residential structures dropped by 0.6% in the first quarter, though investments in machinery and equipment and intellectual property products dropped, respectively, by 2.4% and 0.6%.
Total exports were down 2.8% in the first quarter, under the effect of a 6.2% drop in international goods exports. Exports to the other provinces increased 1.0%, though goods (+0.9%) and services (+1.1%) grew at similar rates. Total imports dropped by 3.1%, a decline accountable to the international import of goods (-4.9%). Interprovincial imports were down 0.5% under the effect of a 0.8% slowdown in service imports. Given the increase in the interprovincial trade surplus was higher than the decrease in the international trade balance, the provincial trade deficit was brought down by nearly 700 million dollars to 7.8 billion dollars.
Monthly GDP remained unchanged in March
Québec’s real gross domestic product at basic prices remained stable in March 2016, following a 0.3% decrease in February and a 0.6% increase in January. In Canada, GDP was down 0.2% in March. In Québec, the gains recorded in service-producing industries (+0.1%) were completely offset by the losses in goods-producing industries (-0.3%). This was revealed in the March 2016 issue of Produit intérieur brut par industrie au Québec published by the Institut de la statistique du Québec.
In March 2016, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.3% decline, following a 0.7% drop in February and a 0.4% rise in January. The decline in March is due to losses observed in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-2.7%), mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (-7.3%), and public services (-2.6%). However, construction (+2.4%) and the manufacturing sector (+0.2%) increased their production level.
Service production rose 0.1% in March, following a 0.1% drop in February and a 0.7% increase in January. Significant gains were noted in wholesale trade (+1.3%), the finance and insurance sector (+0.4%), professional, scientific and technical services (+0.4%), as well as administrative services, support services, and waste management and remediation services (+0.8%). However, wholesale trade (-1.0%), transport and storage services (-0.6%) and public administration (-0.4%) saw their production level slide.
Production in the manufacturing sector increased 0.2% in March, following a 1.7% drop in February and a 0.3% increase in January. The increase in March is on account of a 1.4% gain in the non-durable goods manufacturing sector. However, the durable goods manufacturing sector saw its production drop by 0.7%.
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