Economic activity down in October 2016

Québec, January 25, 2017 – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices dropped 0.4% in October 2016, following a 0.3% increase in September. In Canada, GDP was down 0.3% in October. This decline was due to the 2.0% drop posted by goods-producing industries. Service industry output rose by 0.3%. Québec’s GDP for the first ten months of 2016 rose by 1.7% when compared with the same months in 2015. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 1.0%.

The GDP drop in October was mainly due to losses recorded in the manufacturing sector. Utilities also significantly lowered their output, while thirteen of the 20 major economic activity sectors saw their output increase.

Decline in the production of goods

In October 2016, goods-producing industries recorded a 2.0% drop, following a 0.8% increase in September and a 1.5% drop in August. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (–2.7%); utilities (–3.1%); construction (–0.9%); and the manufacturing sector (–2.5%) reduced their output, while agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (+0.3%) increased theirs.

Rise in service production

Service output was up 0.3% in October, following a 0.1% increase in September. Increases were recorded in several sectors in October, including wholesale trade (+1.7%); real estate and rental and leasing (+0.3%); professional, scientific and technical services (+1.2%); and health care and social assistance (+0.3%). Conversely, output was down in finance and insurance (–0.6%) and educational services (–0.4%).

In the first ten months of 2016, service-producing industries grew by 2.1%, while goods-producing industries were up 0.7% compared with the same period in 2015.

Manufacturing sector down

Output in the manufacturing sector declined 2.5% in October, following a 1.7% increase in September and a 2.4% drop in August. This decrease in October was on account of the 2.7% drop in the durable goods manufacturing sector and the 2.2% drop in the non-durable goods manufacturing sector.

The durable goods manufacturing sectors responsible for this decline were primary metal processing and machinery manufacturing. The decline for non-durable goods manufacturers was essentially due to food manufacturing; petroleum and coal product manufacturing; and plastic and rubber product manufacturing.

Fifteen out of 19 manufacturing industries posted a drop in their output in October.

Downturn in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry was down 0.9% in October, following a 1.8% increase in September and a 0.9% drop in August. October’s drop in output was mainly due to the losses observed in residential construction and engineering construction. The decrease in the residential sector was on account of a slowdown in new housing construction (single houses, row houses and apartments). However, there was a rise in residential renovation.

Increases in both wholesale and retail trade

Output in the wholesale trade went up 1.7% in October, following a drop in two consecutive months (–1.5% in September and –0.9% in August). The October increase was attributed to the gains recorded by food, beverage and tobacco wholesaler-distributors (+5.3%), motor vehicle and parts wholesaler-distributors (+15.5%), and miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors (+5.6%).

For the third consecutive month, retail trade output went up (+0.1% in October, +0.4% in September and +0.3% in August). Food stores (+1.6%) and clothing and clothing accessory stores (+3.2%) increased their output.


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