Québec’s GDP up in the first quarter

Québec, June 27, 2017. – In the first quarter of 2017, gross domestic product (GDP) at market prices rose 1.1% in real terms, an annualized increase of 4.3%. In Canada, quarterly growth stood at 0.9%, an annualized change of +3.7%. Compared with the first quarter of 2016, GDP grew 2.9% in Québec and 2.3% in Canada. This was revealed in Comptes économiques du Québec, 1er trimestre 2017, a publication of the Institut de la statistique du Québec.

Growth in final domestic demand (+0.9%) was generalized in the first quarter and led to a seventh consecutive quarterly increase. Final consumption expenditure rose by 0.7% and investment was up (+1.6%), continuing its recovery which began in early 2016. The external trade deficit rose considerably, and inventory levels went up significantly.

Growth in household final consumption expenditure (+0.9%) was spurred on mostly by the purchase of goods (+1.4%), as services only went up 0.5%. Purchases of durable goods continued to increase in the first quarter of 2017 (+1.8%) after a 5.1% rise in 2016. Household purchases of semi-durable goods (+1.7%) and non-durable goods (+1.0%) were also up in the first quarter, as was general governments final consumption expenditure (+0.2%).

Sustained increase of investment in residential buildings

Residential investment rose 2.7% in the first quarter, following a 3.4% increase in the fourth quarter of 2016. New home construction was up 2.1%, renovation rose by 3.9%, while resale activity dropped 0.4%. Business investment in non-residential structures was little changed (+0.1%) in the first quarter, while investment in machinery and equipment surged (+3.8%). General governments gross fixed capital formation increased 0.5%.

Exports dropped 3.3%, solely on account of a decline in international exports of goods (-7.2%), as exports to other provinces rose by 0.8%. Imports were down 0.3%, owing to a drop in international trade of goods (-0.8%), while imports from other provinces increased 0.3%. Consequently, the external trade deficit grew sharply, going from -$7.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to -$12.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

Monthly gross domestic product rose in March

Québec’s real gross domestic product at basic prices grew 0.4% in March 2017, following a 0.1% increase in February. Canada’s GDP recorded a 0.5% rise in March. The increase in Québec was essentially due to goods-producing industries. Services-producing industries maintained the same output level as in February.

In March 2017, goods-producing industries recorded a 1.2% increase, following a 0.4% decline in February. Output was up in utilities (+5.2%), manufacturing (+0.9%), construction (+0.6%), as well as in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (+1.2%). On the other hand, output was down in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-2.3%).

Service output remained unchanged in March, following increases of 0.3% in February and January. Several sectors experienced growth in March, including wholesale trade (+0.6%), finance and insurance (+0.7%), professional, scientific and technical services (+0.4%), and educational services (+0.5%). Conversely, output levels dropped in transportation and warehousing (-0.5%), accommodation and food services (-2.5%), and public administration (-0.4%).

Output in the manufacturing industry went up 0.9% in March, following a 1.6% decline in February and zero growth in January. This increase in March was mainly on account of a 1.8% rise in non-durable goods manufacturing. Durable goods manufacturing increased by 0.1%.


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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