Economic activity up in February 2017

Québec, May 30, 2017. – Québec’s gross domestic product (GDP) at basic prices rose by 0.1% in February 2017, following a period of stability in January. The increase in Québec was essentially on account of services-producing industries, which recorded a 0.3% increase. Goods-producing industries posted a 0.5% decline. GDP for the first two months of 2017 was up 2.0% compared with the same period in 2016. In Canada, the corresponding rate was 2.4%.

The increase in February was mainly due to gains recorded in utilities and educational services. On the other hand, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction as well as manufacturing registered significant losses. Eleven out of the 20 major economic sectors saw their output increase in February.

Decline in the production of goods

In February 2017, goods-producing industries recorded a 0.5% decline, following increases of 0.3% in January and 0.6% in December. Output was down in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (-0.5%), mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction (-5.3%) as well as manufacturing (-0.9%). Conversely, output was up in utilities (+2.5%) and construction (+0.2%).

Rise in service output

Service output rose 0.3% in February, following a 0.1% drop in January and a 0.4% increase in December. Several sectors experienced growth in February, including transportation and warehousing (+0.7%), finance and insurance (+0.8%), real estate and rental and leasing (+0.4%), professional, scientific and technical services (+0.8%), as well as educational services (+1.9%). However, output was down in wholesale trade (-0.5%).

In the first two months of 2017, services-producing industries grew by 2.1% and goods-producing industries posted an increase of 1.7%.

Manufacturing sector down

Output in the manufacturing sector dropped by 0.9% in February, after an increase of 1.1% in January and a rise of 1.6% in December. The drop in February was mainly attributable to a 1.3% loss recorded in the durable goods manufacturing sector. Non-durable goods manufacturing decreased by 0.4%.

The drop in durable goods manufacturing was on account of the wood product and metal product manufacturing industries. As for the decline in non-durable goods manufacturing, it was essentially due to chemical and plastic and rubber product manufacturing. Twelve out of 19 manufacturing industries posted a drop in their output in February.

Upturn in the construction industry

Output in the construction industry rose 0.2% in February, following a decline of 2.5% in January and an increase of 0.6% in December. The rise in February was mainly attributable to gains recorded in engineering construction, as activity levels were down in residential and non-residential building construction. The decrease in the residential construction sector was due to the slowdown observed in new single-family housing construction. There was also a decline in residential renovation.

Wholesale trade down and retail trade up

Output in wholesale trade decreased 0.5% in February, following a 2.7% drop in January and a 1.8% increase in December. The losses recorded by personal and household goods wholesaler-distributors (-2.8%) were mainly behind the February decrease. Overall, output was down in seven sub-sectors out of nine in February.

Output in retail trade increased 0.2% in February, following a 2.8% increase in January and a 1.4% decline in December. The increase recorded in February was mostly due to the gains registered by clothing and clothing accessories stores, which increased their output level by 4.6%.

In the first two months of 2017, output in retail trade rose by 4.8%, while that in wholesale trade was down 0.8%.


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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