Economic activity up in April 2017

Québec, July 25, 2017. – Québec’s real gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices rose 0.2% in April 2017, following a 0.3% increase in March. In Canada, GDP was up 0.2% in April. Services-producing industries were behind Québec’s growth, as their output increased by 0.5%. On the other hand, goods-producing industries reduced their output by 0.5%. For the first four months of 2017, GDP was up 3.0% compared with the same months of 2016. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 2.8%.

The growth in April was mainly due to the gains observed in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. In contrast, utilities, construction and manufacturing registered significant losses. Furthermore, 12 of the 20 major economic sectors saw their output increase in April.

Decline in the production of goods

In April 2017, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.5% decline, following a 0.7% increase in March and a 0.1% drop in February. Output was down in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-3.4%), utilities (-1.9%), construction (-1.0%), and manufacturing (-0.6%). However, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+9.3%) recorded gains.

Rise in service output

For the eighth consecutive month, output by services-producing industries was up (+0.5% in April, +0.1% in March and +0.3% in February). Several sectors experienced growth in April, including wholesale trade (+0.6%), retail trade (+1.2%), transportation and warehousing (+2.4%), professional, scientific and technical services (+0.8%), and the arts, entertainment and recreation sector (+3.5%).

In the first four months of 2017, services-producing industries grew by 3.0%, while goods-producing industries were up 3.1% compared with the same period in 2016.

Manufacturing sector down

Output in the manufacturing sector fell 0.6% in April, after an increase of 0.1% in March and a drop of 0.9% in February. This decrease in April was on account of both a 0.5% decline in the durable goods manufacturing sector and a 0.8% drop in the non-durable goods manufacturing sector.

The decline in durable goods was essentially due to primary metal transformation, metal product manufacturing, and machinery manufacturing. As for the decline in non-durable goods manufacturing, it was mainly attributable to the manufacturing of beverage and tobacco products, as well as to the manufacturing of clothing and leather and allied products.

Downturn in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry was down 1.0% in April, following two consecutive increases (+0.5% in March and +0.8% in February). The drop in April was mainly due to the losses recorded in the engineering construction sector. Residential construction was down 0.2%. This decrease was due to the slowdown observed in new housing construction (single and double houses). However, there were gains in residential renovation.

Increases in both wholesale and retail trade

Wholesale trade output rose 0.6% in April following a 0.9% increase in March. The gains recorded by machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaler-distributors (+1.1%) and miscellaneous wholesaler-distributors (+3.0%) were mainly behind the increase in April.

Output in retail trade was up 1.2% in April, after a drop of 0.7% in March. The increase recorded in April was mostly due to the gains registered by clothing and clothing accessories stores (+7.9%) and motor vehicle and parts dealers (+3.7%).


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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