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Gross domestic product by industry, May 2015

Released: 2015-07-31

Real GDP by industry

May 2015


(monthly change)

Real gross domestic product fell 0.2% in May, the fifth consecutive monthly decrease. The decline in May was mostly a result of contractions in manufacturing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction as well as wholesale trade.

The output of goods-producing industries fell 0.6% in May, down for a fifth consecutive month, primarily as a result of declines in manufacturing and mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Utilities were also down. In contrast, construction and, to a lesser extent, the agriculture and forestry sector were up.

After increasing for three consecutive months, the output of service-providing industries edged down 0.1% in May. Declines were notable in wholesale trade, the public sector (education, health and public administration combined), the finance and insurance sector, professional services as well as transportation and warehousing services. Conversely, retail trade as well as accommodation and food services increased.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Real gross domestic product falls in May
Real gross domestic product falls in May

Manufacturing output contracts

Manufacturing output contracted 1.7% in May, following no growth in April.

Durable-goods manufacturing fell 2.4% in May, as almost all major groups lost ground. Notable declines were recorded in machinery, computer and electronic products, fabricated metal products and miscellaneous manufacturing. Non-metallic mineral products manufacturing was up.

Non-durable goods manufacturing was down 0.7% in May, primarily because of declines in the manufacturing of food as well as beverage and tobacco. Decreases were also posted in textile, clothing and leather manufacturing, chemical manufacturing as well as printing and related support activities. The manufacturing of petroleum and coal products and of plastic and rubber products advanced.

Chart 2  Chart 2: Manufacturing contracts in May
Manufacturing contracts in May

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction falls again

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction fell 0.7% in May, down for a seventh consecutive month.

Oil and gas extraction fell 1.0% in May, after decreasing 3.4% in April, mainly as a result of a decline in conventional oil and natural gas extraction. Non-conventional oil extraction was also down.

Mining and quarrying (excluding oil and gas extraction) was down 0.8% in May. A decline in metallic mineral mining outweighed a gain in coal mining. Non-metallic mineral mining (which includes potash mines) was unchanged in May.

Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction increased 2.8% in May, after rising 9.6% in April, as both drilling and rigging services advanced again. The gains in April and May followed double-digit declines in the first three months of the year.

Wholesale trade falls while retail trade rises

Following a 1.6% gain in April, wholesale trade fell 1.0% in May. Declines were notable in wholesaling of machinery, equipment and supplies, miscellaneous wholesaling (which includes agricultural supplies) as well as motor vehicle and parts wholesaling. On the other hand, food, beverage and tobacco wholesaling and farm products wholesaling were up.

Retail trade rose 0.5% in May after a 0.3% decline in April, led by increases in the activities of building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers as well as electronics and appliance stores.

Construction grows

Construction grew 1.0% in May, as engineering and repair construction as well as residential and non-residential building construction advanced.

The output of real estate agents and brokers rose 2.1% in May, up for a fourth consecutive month.

Finance and insurance sector declines

The finance and insurance sector declined 0.3% in May. A decrease in banking services outweighed increases in financial investment and insurance services.

Other industries

Utilities declined 1.4% in May, down for a third consecutive month. Electricity generation, transmission and distribution as well as natural gas distribution were both down in May. Unseasonably warm weather was recorded in some parts of the country in May.

The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) edged down 0.1% in May. Declines in educational and health care services more than offset an increase in public administration.

Accommodation and food services were up 0.9% in May, in parallel with an increase in the number of overnight travellers to Canada.

Chart 3  Chart 3: Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, May 2015
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, May 2015

  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.


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.

Next release

Data on GDP by industry for June will be released on September 1.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

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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