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Gross domestic product by industry, February 2015

Released: 2015-04-30

Real gross domestic product (GDP) was unchanged in February following a 0.2% decline in January. The increase in the output of service industries, primarily in retail trade, was offset by an overall decline in goods-producing industries.

Real GDP growth was revised down to a 0.2% decline in January 2015 and revised up to a 0.4% increase in December 2014. Revisions to January and December result from the incorporation of updated information on Canadian industries.

The output of service-providing industries edged up 0.1% in February, after declining 0.2% in January. Increases were recorded in retail trade, the finance and insurance sector as well as the public sector (education, health and public administration combined). On the other hand, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing services as well as accommodation and food services posted declines.

Goods production declined 0.2% in February, after edging down 0.1% in January, primarily as a result of declines in manufacturing and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. Construction also declined in February. In contrast, utilities and the agriculture and forestry sector were up.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Real gross domestic product is unchanged in February - Description and data table
Real gross domestic product is unchanged in February

Chart 1: Real gross domestic product is unchanged in February - Description and data table

Retail trade rises while wholesale trade falls

After declining for two consecutive months, retail trade rose 1.5% in February as most subsectors posted growth. There were notable increases at general merchandise stores, food and beverage stores, sporting goods and hobby, book and music stores as well as at motor vehicles and parts dealers. Activity was down at gasoline stations and building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Retail trade rises in February - Description and data table
Retail trade rises in February

Chart 2: Retail trade rises in February - Description and data table

Wholesale trade fell 0.8% in February after decreasing 2.3% in January. A decline in the wholesaling of building material and supplies as well as of machinery, equipment and supplies more than offset small gains in all other wholesaling subsectors.

Manufacturing output decreases

Manufacturing output declined 0.8% in February after decreasing 0.7% in January.

Following a 1.5% decline in January, durable-goods manufacturing fell 2.5% in February. There were notable declines in the manufacturing of transportation equipment as well as of primary metals, non-metallic mineral products, and fabricated metal products. In contrast, miscellaneous manufacturing was up.

Non-durable goods manufacturing rose 1.4% in February, mainly as a result of a notable increase in the manufacturing of chemical products and, to a lesser extent, of food.

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction falls

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction fell 0.6% in February, mainly because of a contraction in support activities.

Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction contracted 15.4% in February, after falling 10.8% in January, as rigging and drilling services retreated. Crude oil prices, while up in February from January, have been significantly lower in recent months compared with their mid-year 2014 levels. Natural gas prices were down again in February, their sixth decline in seven months.

After rising 1.4% in January, oil and gas extraction edged up 0.1% in February, primarily as a result of gains in non-conventional oil extraction. The growth was pulled down by a decline in conventional crude petroleum extraction, while natural gas production was up.

Mining and quarrying (excluding oil and gas extraction) increased 3.0% in February. An increase in metallic mineral mining outweighed a decline in non-metallic mineral and coal mining.

Finance and insurance sector grows

The finance and insurance sector grew 0.7%, a third consecutive monthly increase. Financial investment, banking, and insurance services all posted gains.

Construction declines

Construction declined 0.2% in February. Residential and non-residential building construction fell, while repair construction was up. Engineering construction was unchanged.

After falling for five consecutive months, the output of real estate agents and brokers rose 3.3% in February, as activity increased in the home resale market, mainly in British Columbia and Ontario.

Other industries

Utilities grew 2.3% in February, after increasing 1.7% in January. Electricity generation, transmission and distribution as well as natural gas distribution were up, partly a result of colder than usual temperatures in some parts of the country.

The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) increased 0.2%.

The agriculture and forestry sector was up 1.1% in February. Growth in crop production and the forestry sector outweighed a decline in animal production.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, February 2015 - Description and data table
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, February 2015

Chart 3: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, February 2015 - Description and data table

  Note to readers

The monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data at basic prices are chained volume estimates with 2007 as the reference year. This means that the data for each industry and each aggregate are obtained from a chained volume index multiplied by the industry's value added in 2007. The monthly data are benchmarked to annually chained Fisher volume indexes of GDP obtained from the constant-price input-output tables up to the latest input-output tables year (2011).

For the period starting with January 2012, the data are derived by chaining a fixed-weight Laspeyres volume index to the prior period. The fixed weights are 2011 industry prices.

This approach makes the monthly GDP by industry data more comparable with the expenditure-based GDP data, chained quarterly.

All data in this release are seasonally adjusted. For more information on seasonal adjustment, see Seasonally adjusted data – Frequently asked questions.

Revisions

With this release of monthly GDP by industry, revisions have been made back to January 2014.

Each month, newly available administrative and survey data across various industries in the economy are integrated and result in statistical revisions. Updated and revised administrative data (including taxation statistics), new information provided by respondents to industry surveys, and standard changes to seasonal adjustment calculations are incorporated with each release.

For more information about monthly national GDP by industry, see the System of macroeconomic accounts module on our website.

Data on gross domestic product by industry for March will be released on May 29.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca).

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact Allan Tomas (613-790-6570), Industry Accounts Division.

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