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Canadian economic accounts, third quarter 2013 and September 2013

Released: 2013-11-29

Real gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.7% in the third quarter, following 0.4% growth in the second quarter. On a monthly basis, real GDP grew 0.3% in September, a third consecutive monthly increase.

Final domestic demand rose 0.5% in the third quarter, as household and government final consumption expenditure and business gross fixed capital formation all increased.

Household final consumption expenditure advanced 0.6%, with increased expenditures on goods (+0.5%) and on services (+0.6%).

Business gross fixed capital formation increased 0.6% following 0.1% growth in the second quarter. Business investment in residential structures was up, as a decline in new home construction was more than offset by higher resale activity and renovations.

Business investment outlays on plant and equipment advanced 0.6% after declining 0.3% in the second quarter. Outlays on intellectual property products increased 0.8%.

Government final consumption expenditure edged up 0.1% in the third quarter.

Investment in farm inventories was up in the third quarter, with $4.1 billion worth of grains, livestock and other crops added to stocks. Business investment in non-farm inventories accelerated, as $5.2 billion of goods were added in the third quarter, compared with $2.7 billion in the previous quarter.

After three quarters of growth, exports fell 0.5% in the third quarter, with declines in exports of both goods (-0.5%) and services (-0.4%). Imports were down 0.3%, following a 0.3% increase in the second quarter.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Gross domestic product and final domestic demand - Description and data table
Gross domestic product and final domestic demand

Chart 1: Gross domestic product and final domestic demand - Description and data table

Most major industrial sectors increased production in the third quarter. The output of goods-producing industries rose 0.9% while the output of service industries grew 0.6%.

Mining and oil and gas extraction was up 2.2% in the third quarter, following a 2.3% decrease in the second quarter. Increases were also recorded in manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, the finance and insurance sector and, to a lesser extent, in the public sector and in construction.

Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP expanded 2.7% in the third quarter. By comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 2.8%.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Contributions to percent change in real gross domestic product, third quarter 2013 - Description and data table
Contributions to percent change in real gross domestic product, third quarter 2013

Chart 2: Contributions to percent change in real gross domestic product, third quarter 2013 - Description and data table

Household spending on goods and services slows

Household final consumption expenditure grew 0.6% in the third quarter, compared with a 0.9% gain in the second quarter. Outlays on goods were up 0.5% as a result of increased spending on non-durable and semi-durable goods. Spending on services rose 0.6%.

Increased spending on housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels (+0.6%), insurance and financial services (+1.0%) and food and beverage services (+1.2%) were the main contributors to the overall gain in household expenditure.

Purchases of vehicles were down 0.6% in the third quarter, following a 4.2% increase in the second quarter. Overall outlays on transport were flat in the quarter. Spending by Canadians abroad was down 0.9%.

Housing higher on resale activity

Business gross fixed capital formation in residential structures increased 0.6% in the third quarter, following 1.7% growth in the second quarter.

Outlays on new home construction were down 2.9%, the third consecutive quarterly decline. Ownership transfer costs, on the other hand, climbed 8.1%, indicating continued strength in sales of existing homes. Renovations (+1.1%) were also higher.

Business outlays on plant and equipment up

Business investment in non-residential structures advanced 0.5% in the third quarter, after contracting 0.5% in the previous quarter. The increase was a result of higher investment in non-residential buildings (+2.2%), following a 3.0% decline in the second quarter, which was partly due to strikes in the construction industry in Quebec. Investment in engineering structures was flat in the third quarter, following modest gains in the first half of 2013.

Business investment in machinery and equipment increased 0.6% in the third quarter following a flat second quarter, with outlays on industrial machinery and equipment increasing 2.2% after three quarters of decline. Investment in communications and audio and video equipment as well as medium and heavy trucks, buses and other motor vehicles were notably lower.

Business investment in intellectual property products (software, research and development and mineral exploration and evaluation) increased 0.8% in the third quarter, following two quarters of decline. The level of business investment in mineral exploration and evaluation in the third quarter was similar to the average of the previous five quarters, which followed a peak in the first quarter of 2012.

Business inventory accumulation accelerates

Business non-farm inventories increased $5.2 billion in the third quarter, after rising $2.7 billion in the second quarter. The growth was mainly because of increased stocks of durable goods at the retail level ($5.5 billion).

Businesses added $4.1 billion to farm inventories (notably canola and wheat) in the third quarter following a better than average growing season and a reduction in shipments of canola and other crops. This was the largest quarterly addition on record, dating back to the first quarter of 1981.

The economy-wide stock-to-sales ratio increased 0.5% in the quarter.

Exports lower

Exports of goods and services declined 0.5% in the third quarter, following three consecutive quarters of growth.

Exports of goods were down 0.5%, with metal and non-metallic mineral products (-4.5%) contributing the most to the decline. Aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (-9.1%), metal ores and non-metallic minerals (-6.3%), and basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (-4.5%) also declined. Exports of energy products increased 2.8%.

Exports of services were 0.4% lower, mainly because of a 2.0% decline in transportation services.

Imports decline

Imports of goods and services declined 0.3% in the third quarter, following a 0.3% increase in the second quarter.

Imports of goods (+0.1%) were up for the third consecutive quarter, led by gains in basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (+8.1%), metal ores and non-metallic minerals (+12.5%) and motor vehicles and parts (+0.9%). Imports of energy products were down 7.5%, the third consecutive quarterly decline.

Imports of services declined 2.3%, the fourth consecutive quarterly decrease. All components were down.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Exports and imports - Description and data table
Exports and imports

Chart 3: Exports and imports - Description and data table

Economy-wide income expands

Nominal GDP increased 1.4% in the third quarter, following 0.2% growth in the second quarter.

Compensation of employees rose 0.8%, up from the second quarter gain of 0.4%. Wages and salaries increased 1.4% in goods-producing industries, the fastest pace since the second quarter of 2012. Wages and salaries in service-producing industries rose 0.5% in the third quarter, up from 0.3% in the second quarter.

The net operating surplus of corporations rose 5.4% following a 5.1% decline in the second quarter. The net operating surplus of non-financial corporations increased 5.6%, while that of financial corporations rose 3.4%.

Higher household saving rate

The household saving rate increased to 5.4% in the third quarter, as household disposable income (+1.2%) outpaced household final consumption expenditure (+1.1%) in nominal terms. Over the previous 10 quarters, the household saving rate averaged 4.9%.

The third quarter's household debt service ratio (7.17%), defined as household mortgage and non-mortgage interest paid divided by disposable income, remained at a near-record low.

The national saving rate was 4.1% in the third quarter, up from 4.0% in the previous quarter. Increased household and government net saving offset a decrease in the net saving of corporations.

Terms of trade strengthen

Canada's terms of trade, measured by export prices relative to import prices, improved in the third quarter, contributing to the 0.9% increase in real gross domestic income.

Export prices increased 1.6% while import prices were 0.9% higher. The overall price of goods and services produced in Canada rose 0.6% after falling 0.2% in the second quarter.

Gross domestic product by industry, September 2013

Real GDP grew 0.3% in September, a third consecutive monthly increase. A notable increase in manufacturing and gains in most major services industries were the main sources of growth. Increases were recorded in retail and wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing services, professional services, utilities, as well as mining and oil and gas extraction. The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) edged up. The finance and insurance sector and accommodation and food services declined. Construction was unchanged.

Chart 4  Chart 4: Real gross domestic product grows in September - Description and data table
Real gross domestic product grows in September

Chart 4: Real gross domestic product grows in September - Description and data table

Manufacturing rose 1.1% in September, after declining 0.4% in August. Manufacturing of durable goods increased 1.4%, owing mainly to gains in transportation equipment, machinery and primary metal manufacturing. Manufacturing of non-durable goods grew 0.7%, primarily as a result of increases in food, plastic and rubber products as well as chemical manufacturing. These gains were partly offset by declines in the manufacturing of petroleum and coal products as well as clothing and leather products.

Retail trade rose 0.9%, mostly attributable to increased activity at motor vehicle and parts dealers. Wholesale trade rose 0.4%.

Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction increased 0.2% in September, a third consecutive monthly advance. Mining excluding oil and gas extraction rose 1.9%, mainly as a result of increases in potash and, to a lesser extent, coal mining. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction also advanced. However, oil and gas extraction declined 0.4% as a result of a decrease in oil extraction, which was affected by maintenance activities. Natural gas production was up in September.

Transportation and warehousing services increased 1.0%, on the strength of rail services and pipeline transportation of natural gas.

Utilities rose 0.8% in September, as the demand for electricity increased.

Construction was unchanged in September, as the decline in non-residential building construction offset increases in residential building and repair construction. The output of real estate agents and brokers rose 1.1% in September, a seventh consecutive monthly increase.

The finance and insurance sector decreased 0.1%. Declines in insurance services and financial investment services more than offset the gains in banking services.

Chart 5  Chart 5: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, September 2013 - Description and data table
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, September 2013

Chart 5: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, September 2013 - Description and data table

Products, services and contact information

Detailed analysis and tables

The National economic accounts module, accessible from the Browse by key resource module of our website, features an up-to-date portrait of national and provincial economies and their structure.

Links to other releases from the national accounts can be found in the third quarter 2013 issue of Canadian Economic Accounts Quarterly Review, Vol. 12, no. 3 (Catalogue number13-010-X). This publication is now available from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications. This publication will be updated on December 13, at the time of the release of the financial flow and national balance sheet accounts.







  Note to readers

For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonal adjustment and identifying economic trends.

Percentage changes for expenditure-based and industry-based statistics (such as personal expenditures, investment, exports, imports and output) are calculated from volume measures that are adjusted for price variations. Percentage changes for income-based and flow-of-funds statistics (such as labour income, corporate profits, mortgage borrowing and total funds raised) are calculated from nominal values; that is, they are not adjusted for price variations.

There are four ways of expressing growth rates for gross domestic product (GDP) and other time series found in this release.

1. Unless otherwise stated, the growth rates of all quarterly data in this release represent the percentage change in the series from one quarter to the next, such as from the second quarter of 2013 to the third quarter of 2013.

2. Quarterly growth can be expressed at an annual rate by using a compound growth formula, similar to the way in which a monthly interest rate can be expressed at an annual rate. Expressing growth at an annual rate facilitates comparisons with official GDP statistics from the United States. Both the quarterly growth rate and the annualized quarterly growth rate should be interpreted as an indication of the latest trend in GDP.

3. The year-over-year growth rate is the percentage change in GDP from a given quarter in one year to the same quarter one year later, such as from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of 2013.

4. The growth rates of all monthly data in this article represent the percentage change in the series from one month to the next, such as from August to September 2013.

Data on gross domestic product by industry for October will be released on December 23.

Products

Data on gross domestic product for the third quarter have been released along with revised data for the first and second quarters.

Data on gross domestic product by income and by expenditure for the fourth quarter will be released on February28, 2014. For more information, consult the Guide to the Income and Expenditure Accounts (Catalogue number13-017-X).

Contact information

For more information, or to order data, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; mediahotline@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Allan Tomas (613-951-9277), Industry Accounts Division.

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