Québec’s gross domestic product up in third quarter

Québec, December 21, 2017. – Québec’s gross domestic product at market prices was up 1.1% in real terms in the third quarter of 2017, an annualized increase of 4.3%. In Canada, GDP increased 0.4% in the third quarter (+1.7% on an annualized basis). After nine months, GDP growth was 2.9% higher compared with the same period last year in both Québec and Canada. That was revealed in Comptes économiques du Québec, 3e trimestre 2017, a publication of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Final domestic demand grows, boosted by business investment

Final domestic demand rose 1.1% in the third quarter of 2017, continuing its upward trend that began at the start of the second half of 2015. Final consumption expenditure increased (+0.7%), with government spending posting stronger growth (+1.0%) than household spending (+0.6%). Gross fixed capital formation was up 2.7%, supported more by business investment (+3.0%) than by government investment (+1.6%).

Spending on services (+0.9%) contributed more to the increase in household final consumption expenditure than spending on goods (+0.2%), a situation that was last observed in the third quarter of 2016. The modest growth in spending on goods was due to a second consecutive decline in semi-durable goods expenditure (-0.3% in the second quarter, -0.9% in the third), and to weak growth in non-durable goods expenditure (+0.3%). Spending on durable goods was up 0.7%.

Business investment in residential buildings experienced an upswing (+3.2%), following a 0.3% decline in the second quarter. This rebound was mainly attributable to new construction (+7.0%), although renovation (+1.0%) and resale activities (+0.8%) were also up. In the non-residential sector, growth was dominated by capitalized machinery and equipment expenses (+6.0%), but was also due in part to investment in construction (+1.4%) and intellectual property products (+1.2%).

Exports were down (-1.3%) on account of a decline in international exports of goods
(-3.7%). Imports also decreased (-0.5%), but not as sharply, resulting in a deterioration in the external trade balance, which stood at -$18.0 billion in the third quarter of 2017.

Gross domestic product by industry up in September

Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices edged up 0.1% in September 2017 after a 0.7% drop in August. In Canada, GDP rose 0.2% in September. Goods-producing industries were behind Québec’s growth: they posted 0.8% in gains, while service-producing industries recorded a drop of 0.2%.

In September 2017, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.8% increase, following a 1.9% decline in August. Output was up in construction (+2.2%), utilities (+2.5%), as well as in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+2.7%). Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-0.9%) and manufacturing (-0.3%) posted declines.

Service-producing industries were down for the second consecutive month, decreasing 0.2% in September, after 20 months of uninterrupted growth that ended in July. Several sectors posted declines in September, including wholesale trade (-2.3%), retail trade (-1.6%), finance and insurance (-0.3%), administrative and support, waste management and remediation services (-0.8%), and arts, entertainment and recreation (-1.5%). However, output was up in educational services (+1.0%).

Output in the manufacturing sector declined for the second consecutive month, down 0.3% in September following a 1.8% drop in August. The decrease in September was attributable to both non-durable goods manufacturing (-0.4%) and durable goods manufacturing (-0.3%).


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.

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