Economic Insights
Recent Developments in the Canadian Economy: Fall 2017

by Guy Gellatly and Elizabeth Richards
Analytical Studies Branch, Statistics Canada

Release date: October 19, 2017 Correction date: (if required)

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This article in the Economic Insights series provides users with an integrated summary of recent changes in output, employment, household demand, international trade and prices. Organized as a statistical summary of major indicators, the report is designed to inform about recent developments in the Canadian economy, highlighting major changes in the economic data during the first two quarters of 2017 and into the summer months. Unless otherwise noted, the tabulations presented in this report are based on seasonally adjusted data available in CANSIM on October 6, 2017.

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Overview

Economic activity continued to strengthen in the first half of 2017 as household spending, exports and business investment supported growth. Business outlays on non-residential structures, machinery and equipment, and intellectual property assets rose during the first two quarters of the year, following notable declines during 2015 and 2016.

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased for eight consecutive months from November 2016 to June 2017 before stabilizing in July, with gains broadly based across industries. Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, manufacturing, and construction contributed to higher goods output during the first half of 2017, while wholesale trade, retail trade, and finance industries supported growth among services.    

Employment also continued to strengthen in the first half of 2017 on gains in full-time work. Higher employment among core-age workers accounted for about two-thirds of overall employment growth from January to June. British Columbia led employment growth among the provinces. Employment continued to increase in the third quarter, albeit at a more measured pace.     

Overall, real GDP growth, measured year-over-year, increased steadily during the winter and early spring, before rising above 4% in May and June. Annual employment growth strengthened to 1.9% year-over-year in June, before rising above 2% during the summer months. As a result, output growth at mid-year 2017 exceeded employment growth by the widest margin since mid-2014.

Despite the pace of economic growth, consumer price inflation decelerated during the first half of 2017, slowing from 2.1% in January to 1.0% in June.

Moreover, Canada posted a cumulative merchandise trade deficit of $7.8 billion over the first half of 2017, similar to the deficit over the last half of 2016. A larger net surplus for energy products in the first half of 2017 was offset by larger deficits for non-energy commodities.

Chart 1 – Output and employment

Data table for Chart 1
Data table for Chart 1
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 1 Real gross domestic product and Employment, calculated using year-over-year change (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Real gross domestic product Employment
year-over-year change (percent)
2007
January 1.4 2.5
February 1.7 2.4
March 1.8 2.3
April 1.9 2.1
May 2.3 1.7
June 2.8 2.0
July 2.6 2.3
August 2.8 2.3
September 2.7 2.4
October 2.6 2.6
November 2.5 2.5
December 1.4 2.2
2008
January 2.0 2.0
February 1.3 2.1
March 1.2 1.8
April 1.2 2.0
May 0.8 1.8
June 0.7 1.5
July 1.1 1.1
August 0.7 1.2
September 0.9 1.3
October 0.7 1.1
November -0.4 0.3
December -1.4 0.1
2009
January -2.2 -0.8
February -2.6 -1.3
March -3.5 -1.4
April -4.0 -1.7
May -4.1 -1.9
June -4.2 -1.9
July -4.4 -1.9
August -4.4 -1.9
September -3.7 -2.1
October -3.5 -2.2
November -1.9 -1.1
December -0.3 -1.0
2010
January 0.8 0.0
February 1.9 0.4
March 3.2 0.6
April 3.4 1.3
May 4.0 1.6
June 4.1 2.1
July 4.1 2.0
August 4.5 2.1
September 3.7 1.7
October 4.1 1.8
November 3.9 1.5
December 4.4 1.8
2011
January 4.0 1.9
February 3.3 1.8
March 3.1 1.8
April 3.3 1.6
May 2.6 1.4
June 2.8 1.2
July 3.4 1.4
August 3.6 1.5
September 3.9 1.7
October 3.4 1.4
November 3.1 1.2
December 2.9 1.2
2012
January 2.6 0.7
February 2.5 0.7
March 2.4 1.1
April 2.7 1.5
May 2.9 1.4
June 2.5 1.3
July 2.1 1.0
August 1.3 1.2
September 1.0 1.3
October 1.0 1.5
November 1.2 1.7
December 0.7 1.8
2013
January 1.3 2.0
February 2.0 2.2
March 2.2 1.5
April 2.1 1.1
May 2.4 1.5
June 1.9 1.4
July 2.2 1.5
August 2.8 1.4
September 3.2 1.2
October 3.8 1.2
November 3.5 1.0
December 3.0 0.7
2014
January 2.5 0.7
February 2.6 0.6
March 2.4 0.9
April 2.6 0.7
May 2.8 0.4
June 3.5 0.5
July 2.9 0.7
August 2.3 0.4
September 2.4 0.5
October 2.3 0.8
November 2.1 0.7
December 2.9 0.6
2015
January 2.5 0.7
February 1.9 0.8
March 1.7 0.7
April 1.1 0.7
May 0.5 1.1
June 0.6 1.0
July 0.9 0.9
August 1.2 1.1
September 0.2 0.9
October -0.1 0.8
November 0.3 0.7
December 0.2 0.9
2016
January 1.1 0.7
February 1.0 0.6
March 0.8 0.7
April 1.1 0.8
May 0.6 0.6
June 0.7 0.6
July 1.0 0.4
August 1.2 0.5
September 2.1 0.9
October 2.0 0.9
November 2.1 1.1
December 2.2 1.3
2017
January 2.2 1.5
February 2.4 1.6
March 3.2 1.5
April 3.4 1.5
May 4.6 1.8
June 4.4 1.9
July 3.8 2.1
August Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 2.1
September Note ..: not available for a specific reference period 1.8

Broad-based contributions to growth

The pace of economic growth strengthened during the first half of 2017, with the strongest cumulative growth over the first two quarters of the year since 2002. Gains during the first half were supported by household spending, exports and non-residential business investment. The economy has expanded for four consecutive quarters since wildfires in Northern Alberta weighed on growth during the second quarter of 2016. 

Real GDP rose 1.1% in the second quarter, following a 0.9% gain in the first quarter. In the United States, real GDP grew 0.8% in the second quarter, up from 0.3% to start the year. Economic growth in Canada has outpaced growth in the United States over the last four quarters.

Chart 2 – Real gross domestic product, selected aggregates

Data table for Chart 2
Data table for Chart 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 2 Household expenditure, Government current expenditure, Non-residential business investment, Goods exports and Housing, calculated using index (Q1 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Household expenditure Government current expenditure Non-residential business investment Goods exports Housing
index (Q1 2007=100)
2007
Quarter 1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Quarter 2 101.5 100.5 100.5 101.6 100.6
Quarter 3 102.4 101.9 100.9 99.7 100.3
Quarter 4 104.3 101.9 102.7 96.9 100.7
2008
Quarter 1 105.1 102.8 106.4 95.5 99.5
Quarter 2 105.2 105.1 106.6 96.3 97.2
Quarter 3 105.3 105.0 106.6 95.2 95.0
Quarter 4 104.0 106.5 101.3 89.9 89.5
2009
Quarter 1 103.7 106.6 85.7 81.4 83.7
Quarter 2 104.5 107.4 82.1 77.3 86.7
Quarter 3 105.7 108.0 82.8 80.1 90.2
Quarter 4 106.4 108.8 85.2 82.1 95.8
2010
Quarter 1 107.6 109.8 89.8 84.0 98.5
Quarter 2 108.5 109.7 94.1 87.3 97.3
Quarter 3 109.4 110.1 97.6 87.1 95.5
Quarter 4 110.4 110.8 102.5 89.5 94.8
2011
Quarter 1 110.6 110.9 105.4 89.8 96.8
Quarter 2 111.1 111.4 108.0 87.7 96.6
Quarter 3 111.5 111.8 108.4 93.3 99.1
Quarter 4 112.2 112.1 111.5 94.5 100.1
2012
Quarter 1 112.9 112.2 114.2 94.1 104.4
Quarter 2 113.0 111.9 117.8 93.9 103.9
Quarter 3 113.7 112.7 118.1 93.2 103.1
Quarter 4 114.3 112.6 120.6 93.1 103.0
2013
Quarter 1 115.0 111.5 122.5 95.2 102.3
Quarter 2 116.0 111.0 123.7 96.8 104.0
Quarter 3 116.9 111.5 124.5 95.9 103.4
Quarter 4 117.7 112.2 126.4 97.4 103.3
2014
Quarter 1 118.2 112.2 126.2 96.5 102.6
Quarter 2 119.4 112.6 128.1 102.7 105.3
Quarter 3 120.1 112.5 130.3 104.2 107.8
Quarter 4 120.9 112.3 128.4 104.0 108.3
2015
Quarter 1 120.9 113.7 119.4 103.7 109.3
Quarter 2 121.5 113.9 114.6 105.3 109.7
Quarter 3 122.4 114.3 111.9 107.0 110.3
Quarter 4 122.9 114.4 107.8 106.3 110.8
2016
Quarter 1 123.6 115.5 104.9 108.4 113.4
Quarter 2 124.3 116.8 103.8 103.7 113.8
Quarter 3 125.3 116.3 106.1 106.1 112.3
Quarter 4 126.2 116.7 99.7 106.3 114.0
2017
Quarter 1 127.6 117.0 103.0 106.6 117.4
Quarter 2 129.1 117.7 104.8 109.6 116.0

The pace of consumer spending in Canada accelerated in the first half of 2017, as household expenditures rose by 1.2% and 1.1% in the first and second quarters, respectively. This compares to 0.7% growth during the third and the fourth quarters of 2016. Spending on durables contributed to the growth during the first half, advancing by 2.3% in the second quarter following a 3.2% gain in the first. Expenditures on durables have increased notably over the last three quarters, supported by auto sales. Higher outlays on clothing and footwear and housing-related expenditures also contributed to growth.      

Exports of goods rose 2.8% in the second quarter, after edging up 0.3% in the first. Energy exports rose 9.2% in the second quarter on higher volumes of crude oil and crude bitumen, natural gas, and refined petroleum products. This followed a 0.7% decline in energy exports in the first quarter. Higher volumes of industrial machinery, equipment and parts, aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, and motor vehicles and parts also contributed to higher exports in the second quarter. 

Import volumes strengthened during the first half of 2017. Goods imports rose 4.0% in the first quarter and 2.5% in the second. Imports of motor vehicles and parts, industrial machinery and equipment, electronic and electrical equipment supported import volumes early in the year. Energy imports contributed to growth in both quarters, increasing 8.4% in the second.

Business investment increased

Non-residential business outlays on structures and machinery and equipment (M&E) supported growth during the first half of 2017, increasing 3.3% in the first quarter and 1.7% in the second. The two consecutive quarterly gains in early 2017 mark the first back-to-back increases in non-residential business investment since 2014. Nevertheless, combined business outlays on non-residential structures and machinery and equipment remain 18% below levels in mid-2014 prior to declines in crude oil prices.

Chart 3 – Business gross fixed capital formation

Data table for Chart 3
Data table for Chart 3
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 3. The information is grouped by Quarters (appearing as row headers), Total business gross fixed capital formation, Residential structures, Non-residential structures, Machinery and equipment and Intellectual property products, calculated using index (Q1 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Quarters Total business gross fixed capital formation Residential structures Non-residential structures Machinery and equipment Intellectual property products
index (Q1 2007=100)
2007
Quarter 1 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
Quarter 2 100.6 100.6 99.8 101.3 100.7
Quarter 3 100.8 100.3 100.2 101.6 102.1
Quarter 4 102.1 100.7 100.5 105.0 104.5
2008
Quarter 1 104.0 99.5 107.2 105.4 107.6
Quarter 2 103.3 97.2 108.7 104.1 107.6
Quarter 3 102.2 95.0 109.3 103.3 105.8
Quarter 4 96.8 89.5 106.6 95.3 100.1
2009
Quarter 1 85.1 83.7 91.8 79.1 88.0
Quarter 2 83.9 86.7 85.7 77.9 85.4
Quarter 3 85.5 90.2 84.9 80.3 85.6
Quarter 4 89.0 95.8 85.7 84.3 87.7
2010
Quarter 1 92.9 98.5 93.9 84.9 91.8
Quarter 2 95.1 97.3 98.6 88.8 95.6
Quarter 3 96.5 95.5 104.7 89.2 97.6
Quarter 4 98.8 94.8 111.2 92.1 97.7
2011
Quarter 1 100.7 96.8 115.5 93.3 95.6
Quarter 2 102.6 96.6 114.6 100.2 101.0
Quarter 3 104.1 99.1 119.5 95.0 104.0
Quarter 4 106.1 100.1 124.0 96.5 104.1
2012
Quarter 1 109.1 104.4 127.3 98.3 104.7
Quarter 2 110.3 103.9 133.1 99.1 99.8
Quarter 3 110.2 103.1 133.7 99.0 100.7
Quarter 4 111.4 103.0 138.1 99.1 99.7
2013
Quarter 1 112.2 102.3 141.0 99.7 100.3
Quarter 2 113.1 104.0 143.0 99.8 97.7
Quarter 3 113.4 103.4 146.1 97.8 98.9
Quarter 4 114.4 103.3 147.4 100.4 99.1
2014
Quarter 1 113.3 102.6 149.3 97.4 93.0
Quarter 2 115.0 105.3 150.8 99.9 90.4
Quarter 3 116.9 107.8 151.6 103.9 88.4
Quarter 4 116.4 108.3 150.3 101.2 91.5
2015
Quarter 1 111.3 109.3 135.3 99.8 84.1
Quarter 2 108.8 109.7 128.9 97.0 82.9
Quarter 3 107.5 110.3 123.5 97.5 81.9
Quarter 4 105.6 110.8 118.2 95.0 81.7
2016
Quarter 1 105.0 113.4 113.6 94.1 81.3
Quarter 2 104.5 113.8 111.1 94.4 81.7
Quarter 3 104.8 112.3 118.8 90.4 78.0
Quarter 4 101.9 114.0 107.7 89.7 76.0
2017
Quarter 1 105.1 117.4 108.7 95.6 78.6
Quarter 2 105.7 116.0 111.3 96.4 80.3

Business outlays on non-residential structures rose 2.4% in the second quarter of 2017, following a 1.0% gain in the first. Higher spending on engineering structures supported the increase in both quarters. Business outlays on machinery and equipment rose 6.6% in the first quarter of the year, the largest quarterly increase in over five years. Investments in aircraft, industrial machinery, autos and communications equipment contributed to higher M&E outlays in early 2017. Spending on M&E moderated in the second quarter, increasing 0.9%.

Business investment in intellectual property products rose during the first half of 2017, advancing 2.1% in the second quarter following a 3.5% increase in the first. Spending on mineral exploration and evaluation rose in both quarters, following eight consecutive quarterly declines.

After a notable gain the first quarter (+2.9%), business outlays on residential structures declined in the second (-1.2%). The first-quarter gain was the largest quarterly increase in residential structures in five years. Lower spending in the second quarter reflected a 6.7% decline in ownership transfer costs due to lower activity in resale markets.

Following 1.3% growth in the first quarter, business sector labour productivity edged down (-0.1%) in the second as gains in hours worked (+1.4%) outpaced the growth in output. The quarterly increase in hours worked, supported by broad-based increases among services, was the largest since late 2003. Productivity in mining and oil and gas extraction declined during the first half of the year, reflecting sizable increases in hours worked in both quarters. After increasing in the first quarter, manufacturing productivity declined in the second as the pace of output growth slowed.   

Industrial capacity utilization rose to 85% in the second quarter, the highest level since the third quarter of 2007. After little change over the previous three quarters, capacity utilization in oil and gas extraction rose 3.3 percentage points to 84% in the second quarter. Capacity utilization in manufacturing also increased, rising to 84.2% in the second quarter.

The terms of trade deteriorated in the second quarter, weighing on real income growth for the first time since early 2016. Import prices rose 2.7% in the second quarter while export prices edged up 0.5%. Improvements in the terms of trade had made substantial contributions to the growth in real domestic income over the previous three quarters. Following a 1.9% increase to start the year, nominal GDP rose 0.7% in the second quarter as corporate earnings edged lower.    

Widespread gains across industrial sectors

The output of the goods sector advanced steadily in first half of 2017 with gains in five of the first six months. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction supported growth in both quarters, as did manufacturing and construction. Manufacturing output increased in four of the first six months of the year. Output in June was 2.4% higher than levels at year-end 2016, as machinery manufacturing, petroleum refineries  and primary metal manufacturing increased output during the first half of 2017.Note 1

Chart 4 – Real gross domestic product, selected industries

Data table for Chart 4
Data table for Chart 4
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 4. The information is grouped by Months (appearing as row headers), Mining, oil and gas, Construction, Manufacturing, Retail and Wholesale, calculated using index (January 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Months Mining, quarrying, oil and gas Construction Manufacturing Retail Wholesale
index (January 2007=100)
2007
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 101.2 100.2 100.5 100.1 103.9
March 101.8 100.7 100.5 100.4 104.2
April 99.4 101.1 100.8 102.0 104.2
May 101.2 102.1 100.0 102.6 104.9
June 101.7 102.3 100.2 102.4 105.1
July 100.2 102.4 99.3 102.5 104.2
August 102.4 102.8 99.0 103.9 103.5
September 101.5 102.8 98.7 102.9 103.6
October 99.3 102.0 98.7 103.3 104.4
November 98.4 102.2 98.5 104.7 103.5
December 97.4 103.4 95.9 106.4 102.4
2008
January 98.7 104.8 95.6 107.0 103.7
February 97.4 105.1 95.9 106.1 102.3
March 99.0 104.8 94.3 106.2 103.4
April 98.6 103.7 95.6 106.6 103.0
May 96.7 105.1 96.1 106.5 103.6
June 98.3 104.7 95.5 106.9 104.3
July 101.0 104.7 95.9 106.4 104.7
August 100.2 104.5 94.2 106.6 104.2
September 98.4 105.1 94.2 107.4 104.0
October 99.2 105.8 92.8 106.3 102.8
November 97.5 104.3 91.2 104.0 100.0
December 94.2 102.1 87.2 101.3 97.0
2009
January 97.0 98.8 84.1 103.1 95.2
February 93.5 97.5 83.2 102.9 94.7
March 88.2 96.3 82.0 102.7 93.9
April 85.4 95.7 80.7 102.6 93.9
May 85.8 96.4 79.7 103.1 94.4
June 86.6 96.5 79.0 103.3 94.6
July 85.5 96.8 79.6 103.4 95.6
August 83.9 97.5 80.0 103.5 95.9
September 87.0 98.6 80.9 104.1 96.0
October 87.0 99.6 80.5 104.0 96.4
November 88.2 101.5 81.8 102.3 98.2
December 87.2 102.5 81.4 104.0 100.1
2010
January 90.0 104.3 82.3 105.6 101.3
February 92.8 104.8 83.4 105.6 100.7
March 94.0 105.2 84.7 107.8 101.5
April 93.6 105.6 84.6 105.4 101.4
May 98.3 105.4 85.0 105.0 101.5
June 97.7 105.9 86.1 105.7 102.4
July 97.5 106.1 86.1 106.0 101.3
August 97.1 106.8 86.0 106.4 103.2
September 95.5 107.1 85.4 106.4 103.6
October 98.9 107.5 85.3 106.0 104.4
November 100.1 107.8 84.8 107.7 106.0
December 102.4 108.0 86.2 107.1 108.0
2011
January 100.0 109.0 87.0 106.8 109.6
February 99.5 109.4 86.3 106.8 108.0
March 101.8 108.8 86.9 105.3 109.2
April 102.5 108.6 86.9 106.5 108.0
May 98.8 108.4 86.4 106.5 109.2
June 100.5 109.5 86.8 107.9 108.8
July 103.6 110.3 88.1 106.9 111.9
August 107.3 111.1 87.9 106.8 111.1
September 107.6 111.6 88.9 107.1 111.6
October 105.9 111.8 89.1 107.8 113.1
November 105.2 112.3 89.6 107.8 113.3
December 105.6 113.5 91.1 109.5 114.3
2012
January 106.2 114.7 90.8 108.4 112.6
February 102.9 115.6 89.2 107.3 113.7
March 102.6 117.3 89.6 107.8 114.7
April 103.0 118.7 90.3 106.7 115.2
May 102.2 118.5 89.9 107.0 114.3
June 100.4 119.2 89.9 107.1 114.7
July 99.4 119.4 89.9 108.2 115.2
August 97.3 119.7 89.5 107.3 114.7
September 97.8 120.4 88.4 107.7 114.5
October 99.4 121.4 87.4 107.5 113.9
November 101.6 121.9 88.3 108.2 115.8
December 102.0 122.5 87.2 108.1 115.1
2013
January 102.6 122.4 88.3 110.8 116.7
February 105.2 122.9 88.7 110.3 117.6
March 106.3 123.8 89.0 110.9 117.6
April 105.9 124.4 88.4 112.0 118.2
May 105.2 124.9 88.5 114.0 119.2
June 103.9 122.3 88.4 112.7 117.1
July 106.1 124.8 88.1 113.9 120.4
August 107.6 125.1 88.5 115.1 120.1
September 108.3 125.0 89.7 115.1 120.8
October 109.3 125.4 90.6 116.3 121.9
November 108.8 125.7 90.3 116.5 122.5
December 109.0 124.6 88.4 115.8 120.3
2014
January 109.9 125.1 89.0 115.7 119.6
February 111.5 125.7 90.7 115.9 121.7
March 113.5 125.3 90.0 116.3 122.3
April 116.7 125.3 90.3 116.9 122.1
May 116.9 127.0 91.8 117.0 123.8
June 117.4 127.9 92.5 118.1 124.6
July 114.3 128.7 92.8 118.5 124.2
August 109.9 127.9 91.6 118.2 125.3
September 113.6 128.0 92.3 118.4 127.8
October 115.4 128.7 92.5 118.5 126.0
November 116.1 128.5 91.7 119.2 125.0
December 114.4 127.5 93.5 119.2 127.0
2015
January 113.6 125.5 92.3 116.9 124.7
February 112.1 123.6 91.3 118.7 124.6
March 109.5 122.6 92.1 120.0 125.0
April 108.2 121.6 91.6 118.9 126.6
May 108.0 122.0 91.3 119.1 124.9
June 111.2 121.1 90.8 120.2 125.8
July 113.3 120.4 91.5 120.5 125.3
August 113.6 120.7 92.5 120.2 124.6
September 107.2 119.9 91.5 121.2 123.9
October 107.3 119.1 91.1 120.7 125.2
November 109.0 118.7 91.9 122.4 126.2
December 109.1 118.4 92.4 120.9 126.6
2016
January 109.7 118.7 93.4 121.5 128.9
February 108.8 118.5 92.7 123.9 125.7
March 107.2 117.9 92.1 122.3 124.9
April 104.3 118.1 92.6 122.5 125.7
May 97.7 117.1 90.8 122.5 126.0
June 101.8 116.5 92.1 121.6 126.9
July 107.4 116.7 92.5 122.5 126.7
August 109.8 116.0 92.7 122.6 127.3
September 112.4 116.7 93.0 123.0 126.2
October 111.9 115.6 91.9 124.8 128.3
November 114.5 117.1 93.2 125.7 128.3
December 113.7 117.9 94.1 124.8 130.4
2017
January 116.6 118.2 94.6 127.2 132.5
February 116.4 118.7 94.0 127.5 132.7
March 116.6 119.5 95.1 128.8 134.0
April 117.9 119.5 95.0 129.4 134.5
May 123.1 119.1 95.9 130.2 135.7
June 123.1 121.1 96.3 131.2 135.1
July 121.6 120.6 96.0 131.0 137.8

Construction output advanced steadily from January to March, and then rose 1.7% in June as non-residential, residential and engineering construction all advanced. The notable gain in June followed lower non-residential construction activity in May due in part to the strike by unionized construction workers in Quebec. Non-residential output in June rebounded to 2016 year-end levels.

After gains from January to March, residential construction edged lower in April and May before strengthening in June. Residential construction at mid-year was 3% higher than at year-end 2016.

Following sharp declines as oil prices fell in 2015 and 2016, engineering construction posted gains in four of the first six months of 2017. As of June, output in this sector remained 22% below mid-2014 levels. 

The pace of growth in the service sector accelerated during the first half of 2017, supported by gains in wholesale, retail, transportation and warehousing, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific and technical services. Wholesale trade contributed significantly to higher services output in the first quarter, while finance and insurance industries supported growth in the second. The output of real estate agents and brokers was down in the second quarter as resale housing activity declined in the Greater Toronto Area.

Conventional oil and gas extraction expanded output

Conventional oil and gas extraction rose during five of the first six months of 2017. The output of conventional producers in June was 10% higher than levels at year-end 2016. Non-conventional oil extraction rose 5% from December to June, as production disruptions in the oil sands weighed on non-conventional output in March and April, prior to the return to higher levels in May. Non-conventional oil extraction in June was up 36% year-over-year following recent lows in the spring of 2016 due to wildfires in Northern Alberta.

Chart 5 – Real gross domestic product, selected industries

Data table for Chart 5
Data table for Chart 5
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 5 Conventional oil and gas extraction, Non-conventional oil extraction, Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, Crude oil and other pipeline transportation and Petroleum refineries, calculated using index (January 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Conventional oil and gas extraction Non-conventional oil extraction Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction Crude oil and other pipeline transportation Petroleum refineries
index (January 2007=100)
2007
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 100.2 108.1 98.8 97.7 99.8
March 100.3 112.5 95.5 96.6 100.7
April 103.4 102.3 80.3 96.8 102.7
May 103.7 100.0 88.1 96.1 100.6
June 105.5 94.4 95.1 93.2 101.5
July 99.5 101.6 100.9 96.6 104.6
August 100.8 110.6 94.9 95.3 102.1
September 101.0 106.4 94.1 94.8 101.6
October 99.4 105.1 90.8 94.0 101.4
November 98.3 101.8 93.4 93.6 98.9
December 97.9 93.2 91.6 91.7 100.3
2008
January 95.7 104.9 94.3 92.3 99.8
February 94.7 102.5 92.2 91.7 97.4
March 95.9 105.7 93.3 90.6 91.6
April 97.5 101.6 89.4 89.4 97.6
May 95.4 97.9 90.3 91.7 98.3
June 93.5 105.2 106.8 89.4 97.9
July 97.2 107.9 111.6 86.8 96.4
August 94.5 110.9 111.6 87.6 94.0
September 94.4 106.3 108.2 86.1 93.9
October 95.9 107.3 112.2 89.8 96.1
November 93.6 109.4 110.0 88.1 97.9
December 91.1 112.9 89.7 90.7 98.2
2009
January 92.1 115.1 91.7 88.3 100.2
February 91.4 121.6 86.4 85.2 102.4
March 88.5 118.2 64.7 84.3 103.0
April 85.9 111.9 69.9 83.2 98.2
May 82.4 124.7 68.1 80.7 103.6
June 85.8 127.2 67.2 84.3 101.2
July 86.3 128.8 62.4 83.4 100.7
August 81.7 122.8 68.7 82.8 100.4
September 82.1 127.7 72.7 86.4 95.1
October 81.3 130.1 70.2 87.3 94.6
November 82.9 130.4 80.3 87.8 98.4
December 81.2 120.8 92.0 85.7 99.6
2010
January 83.6 113.8 90.3 82.0 100.9
February 82.4 127.1 98.0 81.4 94.6
March 83.6 131.8 89.6 87.6 94.5
April 83.8 135.1 87.2 85.8 91.4
May 85.4 144.8 97.8 87.9 94.4
June 85.3 145.7 94.3 87.8 98.3
July 86.1 140.3 94.2 89.8 95.2
August 88.4 136.5 88.7 90.0 93.7
September 87.3 131.9 81.0 80.1 96.9
October 86.6 139.0 92.8 82.6 84.0
November 86.7 148.9 92.9 87.7 89.1
December 88.4 153.5 97.6 87.6 92.0
2011
January 88.4 146.5 89.1 97.8 88.0
February 86.3 148.5 88.9 102.6 87.6
March 87.6 146.8 104.3 99.2 88.6
April 88.1 151.6 101.8 95.2 89.9
May 86.9 135.6 102.8 94.5 78.8
June 85.4 145.7 103.2 96.5 83.3
July 87.7 151.0 105.1 100.9 84.0
August 89.5 154.0 123.7 106.1 86.7
September 89.9 155.4 123.9 106.2 95.1
October 89.1 151.4 124.1 106.2 91.1
November 87.9 151.7 123.7 104.0 89.3
December 88.0 153.1 120.6 105.7 88.4
2012
January 87.8 160.8 121.7 110.9 87.4
February 86.0 154.8 124.0 109.0 89.7
March 85.6 145.8 127.2 109.9 86.6
April 84.8 157.4 117.8 113.5 90.8
May 82.4 162.9 108.7 117.1 88.5
June 79.7 158.8 108.6 117.2 86.8
July 78.4 162.0 104.5 115.3 91.4
August 76.6 159.1 102.8 113.4 89.6
September 76.5 156.9 107.2 111.0 87.8
October 81.0 160.4 102.4 104.8 94.3
November 83.1 156.9 105.2 109.4 93.5
December 81.6 162.6 107.7 114.9 93.1
2013
January 82.1 161.1 112.2 115.9 94.3
February 83.0 163.0 118.5 116.2 90.4
March 83.7 168.9 114.1 119.0 91.3
April 83.6 167.0 115.0 117.2 91.2
May 85.1 162.5 109.9 114.8 82.2
June 85.5 161.9 104.7 115.7 95.4
July 86.9 163.9 110.7 114.7 89.1
August 87.0 170.8 115.7 118.1 91.2
September 87.2 171.8 116.7 119.4 94.7
October 85.9 173.4 119.3 124.5 88.8
November 85.7 178.9 111.1 123.9 92.9
December 86.8 180.1 108.2 117.6 87.7
2014
January 87.0 177.6 119.7 120.5 87.8
February 88.0 175.6 124.5 122.6 92.8
March 87.9 181.0 132.5 124.2 82.0
April 87.5 188.9 143.6 124.6 84.2
May 88.6 194.3 137.4 132.4 88.8
June 90.2 193.9 131.6 134.0 98.6
July 89.4 183.8 126.4 131.7 93.1
August 86.0 176.9 117.0 129.5 90.2
September 88.2 189.4 117.3 132.0 83.9
October 89.7 193.1 120.3 132.4 87.6
November 90.6 189.2 127.0 133.1 91.9
December 87.6 187.6 127.0 133.9 93.1
2015
January 88.9 199.4 101.8 132.1 90.9
February 88.2 205.4 84.9 132.4 89.6
March 86.4 203.0 71.9 131.2 94.3
April 85.9 192.8 82.2 140.5 92.8
May 83.9 195.1 89.4 136.9 96.6
June 84.3 206.0 90.9 138.2 87.3
July 84.0 218.7 86.9 145.0 87.9
August 84.5 216.0 87.6 148.2 92.9
September 84.8 189.4 75.8 146.9 90.9
October 83.3 197.9 74.1 142.9 90.1
November 84.5 210.5 71.4 146.5 86.4
December 84.6 208.5 69.8 149.8 89.9
2016
January 85.9 208.4 69.0 154.5 91.6
February 85.2 206.2 65.6 156.3 90.6
March 85.3 210.1 55.8 150.1 90.6
April 86.5 194.3 52.3 144.0 94.4
May 87.5 148.9 53.3 138.0 81.7
June 86.5 171.0 54.7 141.5 89.3
July 87.2 208.6 54.4 146.5 96.5
August 89.0 211.5 57.6 150.9 91.4
September 90.5 223.0 59.6 153.7 90.2
October 87.9 222.6 62.0 153.2 84.7
November 88.3 232.0 65.7 156.6 87.5
December 86.2 220.5 76.5 152.6 87.6
2017
January 88.2 225.1 84.0 154.7 92.7
February 87.4 227.8 88.3 154.5 91.9
March 89.7 218.7 97.9 154.8 95.4
April 90.4 210.5 109.7 155.3 94.7
May 93.6 237.0 103.9 162.6 97.9
June 94.7 232.3 101.9 162.3 98.7
July 94.0 225.5 100.7 161.1 98.5

Businesses that provide support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction, including rigging and drilling services, continued to increase output in the first half of 2017, as production rose from January to April, prior to declines into mid-year. These activities have strengthened considerably over the last year, following steep declines during 2015 and early 2016 as oil prices trended lower. In June, the output of businesses that provide support activities for resource extraction was 33% higher than at year-end 2016, and 86% higher than in mid-2016.

More recently, real GDP was unchanged in July as gains in wholesale, utilities and public sector industries were offset by declines in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction manufacturing, construction, and finance.

Employment continued to strengthen

Total employment rose by 186,000 (+1.0%) in the first six months of 2017, led by gains in full-time work and among core-age individuals (aged 25 to 54). Gains among private sector employees accounted for about one-half of the total increase. Higher employment in services, supported by gains in professional, scientific and technical services and in health care and social assistance, accounted for over two-thirds of the overall increase.

Chart 6 – Employment by type

Data table for Chart 6
Data table for Chart 6
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 6 Full-time and Part-time, calculated using year-over-year change (thousands of persons) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Full-time Part-time
year-over-year change (thousands of persons)
2007
January 287.7 113.0
February 324.8 58.0
March 308.7 71.8
April 247.1 88.8
May 160.5 121.6
June 332.8 2.8
July 314.7 61.6
August 267.5 110.7
September 299.5 98.9
October 270.1 161.4
November 296.1 124.3
December 265.0 94.4
2008
January 279.7 51.6
February 311.5 44.1
March 249.1 43.0
April 289.7 37.1
May 204.1 104.5
June 83.2 161.4
July 86.0 107.2
August 139.9 64.3
September 114.5 106.1
October 124.7 68.9
November 23.2 32.5
December -50.2 71.5
2009
January -185.2 55.8
February -365.5 138.1
March -369.0 138.7
April -391.4 98.5
May -416.0 92.2
June -436.9 110.3
July -402.7 85.2
August -482.6 154.8
September -372.1 10.8
October -364.1 -18.3
November -221.0 40.8
December -166.0 1.5
2010
January -67.4 72.3
February 118.4 -43.7
March 89.3 16.1
April 138.3 86.7
May 230.7 35.2
June 303.0 42.6
July 118.4 218.0
August 206.9 135.4
September 134.8 144.3
October 159.5 147.3
November 113.6 143.9
December 180.3 127.5
2011
January 209.7 105.6
February 96.4 198.5
March 260.8 44.5
April 236.1 28.9
May 193.8 39.2
June 186.6 23.6
July 382.9 -144.1
August 353.2 -102.2
September 360.4 -65.8
October 232.8 6.5
November 269.2 -66.7
December 231.2 -30.2
2012
January 190.4 -68.5
February 229.0 -106.1
March 212.3 -18.2
April 250.8 -0.1
May 225.5 21.2
June 237.4 -14.8
July 213.0 -33.9
August 203.5 -2.9
September 188.4 38.8
October 288.2 -21.4
November 253.4 48.0
December 273.2 38.8
2013
January 289.5 62.1
February 327.2 50.4
March 195.4 57.6
April 183.2 9.7
May 275.1 -21.6
June 199.9 36.3
July 159.2 96.4
August 153.5 93.8
September 167.6 49.2
October 172.5 34.1
November 136.4 47.2
December 52.4 78.5
2014
January 64.7 64.7
February 72.0 42.0
March 105.6 55.2
April 52.2 67.2
May -70.5 137.4
June 27.5 58.6
July 22.3 100.8
August -6.2 73.4
September 24.1 68.3
October 28.1 110.4
November 67.1 48.3
December 145.5 -37.4
2015
January 108.3 21.9
February 136.4 -1.7
March 122.9 8.6
April 168.1 -35.3
May 238.4 -42.3
June 242.9 -66.8
July 262.1 -100.7
August 317.7 -123.5
September 200.4 -39.9
October 183.5 -43.5
November 202.6 -80.2
December 144.7 7.8
2016
January 167.6 -47.1
February 59.4 51.5
March 118.2 10.8
April 82.7 57.3
May 112.5 -9.2
June 27.2 82.2
July -43.1 108.5
August -35.2 119.6
September 54.6 98.5
October 23.6 141.4
November -25.5 222.6
December 73.5 155.6
2017
January 86.2 189.9
February 235.4 52.7
March 223.1 53.3
April 189.6 86.1
May 220.9 96.0
June 248.2 102.5
July 353.5 34.0
August 213.4 160.8
September 288.6 31.1

Chart 7 – Employment by sector

Data table for Chart 7
Data table for Chart 7
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 7 Total employed, all industries, Goods-producing sector and Services-producing sector, calculated using year-over-year change (thousands of persons) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Total employed, all industries Goods-producing sector Services-producing sector
year-over-year change (thousands of persons)
2007
January 400.7 81.5 319.2
February 382.8 23.4 359.3
March 380.5 1.6 378.8
April 335.9 -34.2 370.0
May 282.2 -16.4 298.6
June 335.6 -17.9 353.6
July 376.2 12.3 363.9
August 378.2 45.2 333.0
September 398.4 8.8 389.6
October 431.5 -9.0 440.5
November 420.3 -35.6 456.0
December 359.4 -62.7 422.0
2008
January 331.3 -47.5 378.8
February 355.6 -10.9 366.5
March 292.1 4.7 287.4
April 326.7 26.2 300.6
May 308.6 22.9 285.7
June 244.6 28.7 215.9
July 193.1 5.3 187.8
August 204.2 -7.8 212.0
September 220.5 16.9 203.6
October 193.5 5.3 188.2
November 55.7 -26.1 81.8
December 21.3 -28.6 49.9
2009
January -129.4 -149.5 20.1
February -227.4 -212.3 -15.1
March -230.3 -221.5 -8.8
April -292.9 -269.1 -23.8
May -323.9 -315.5 -8.4
June -326.6 -308.0 -18.6
July -317.3 -301.2 -16.2
August -327.8 -303.2 -24.6
September -361.3 -280.4 -80.9
October -382.2 -267.6 -114.7
November -180.2 -225.1 44.9
December -164.5 -216.8 52.3
2010
January 4.9 -118.8 123.7
February 74.7 -65.9 140.5
March 105.4 -55.1 160.6
April 225.1 -5.3 230.4
May 266.0 51.7 214.3
June 345.6 66.7 278.9
July 336.3 50.0 286.4
August 342.3 47.3 295.0
September 279.1 0.9 278.2
October 306.8 18.1 288.8
November 257.4 35.1 222.3
December 307.9 55.0 252.8
2011
January 315.4 78.2 237.2
February 294.9 86.1 208.9
March 305.4 104.8 200.5
April 265.0 91.1 173.9
May 232.9 76.1 156.9
June 210.2 67.4 142.9
July 238.8 73.1 165.7
August 250.9 72.9 178.0
September 294.6 84.3 210.2
October 239.3 63.7 175.6
November 202.6 70.7 131.9
December 200.8 59.9 141.0
2012
January 121.9 22.0 99.8
February 122.9 31.7 91.2
March 194.0 36.0 158.0
April 250.7 81.5 169.2
May 246.7 73.1 173.5
June 222.7 84.0 138.6
July 179.2 91.0 88.1
August 200.6 92.5 108.1
September 227.2 110.8 116.5
October 266.7 107.6 159.0
November 301.4 96.2 205.2
December 312.1 103.6 208.5
2013
January 351.4 92.5 259.0
February 377.6 75.6 302.0
March 253.0 58.6 194.4
April 192.9 28.3 164.5
May 253.6 32.4 221.2
June 236.0 21.7 214.3
July 255.5 14.0 241.6
August 247.4 16.2 231.2
September 216.8 -0.9 217.7
October 206.6 18.2 188.5
November 183.5 -10.6 194.1
December 130.9 -50.1 181.0
2014
January 129.4 2.7 126.8
February 114.0 -7.4 121.3
March 160.7 17.9 142.8
April 119.4 -27.3 146.8
May 66.8 -45.8 112.6
June 86.2 -19.9 106.2
July 123.1 -20.9 144.0
August 67.3 -43.8 111.0
September 92.4 -24.4 116.8
October 138.5 -12.5 151.0
November 115.5 -9.2 124.8
December 108.2 25.2 83.0
2015
January 130.3 0.9 129.2
February 134.7 -32.4 167.2
March 131.6 -57.2 188.9
April 132.7 -29.3 162.0
May 196.1 6.8 189.3
June 176.1 -10.3 186.3
July 161.5 -26.7 188.2
August 194.1 -10.3 204.5
September 160.5 -25.5 186.0
October 140.0 -58.4 198.4
November 122.4 -6.7 129.0
December 152.4 -18.8 171.2
2016
January 120.5 -46.8 167.4
February 110.9 26.9 84.0
March 129.0 1.6 127.3
April 140.2 -31.0 171.2
May 103.3 -32.3 135.6
June 109.3 -71.2 180.5
July 65.3 -61.3 126.6
August 84.3 -47.8 132.1
September 153.1 -35.3 188.3
October 165.0 1.0 164.0
November 197.1 -57.7 254.8
December 229.0 -53.5 282.6
2017
January 276.1 -22.1 298.2
February 288.1 -77.2 365.3
March 276.4 -24.2 300.6
April 275.7 10.4 265.3
May 316.8 21.7 295.2
June 350.7 74.6 276.2
July 387.6 81.0 306.6
August 374.3 56.2 318.1
September 319.7 53.9 265.9

Employment in the goods sector rose by 56,000 in the first half of 2017, led by gains in manufacturing. British Columbia had the strongest employment increase among the provinces. Overall employment in British Columbia rose by 78,000 during the first six months of the year, about twice the net increase reported in both Quebec and Ontario. The growth in British Columbia was all in full-time work, and supported by gains among core-age individuals and private sector employees.

Chart 8 – Employment by class of worker

Data table for Chart 8
Data table for Chart 8
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 8 Private sector employees, Public sector employees and Self-employed, calculated using year-over-year change (thousands of persons) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Private sector employees Public sector employees Self-employed
year-over-year change (thousands of persons)
2007
January 388.8 6.6 5.3
February 341.8 14.3 26.7
March 287.9 45.1 47.5
April 226.9 59.3 49.7
May 95.9 46.7 139.5
June 95.5 75.0 165.2
July 163.3 63.1 149.8
August 146.7 104.3 127.1
September 156.2 144.5 97.7
October 116.2 174.7 140.6
November 117.5 204.0 98.9
December 52.3 219.9 87.2
2008
January 83.7 179.3 68.2
February 117.4 180.9 57.4
March 92.2 148.1 51.9
April 118.3 159.1 49.4
May 186.6 126.1 -4.1
June 138.9 110.8 -5.1
July 48.5 125.8 19.0
August 53.1 100.0 51.2
September 78.7 42.8 99.0
October 60.9 60.5 72.1
November -14.6 -10.1 80.4
December -2.7 -3.3 27.3
2009
January -186.7 -4.2 61.6
February -238.3 -23.0 33.7
March -254.9 -19.3 43.8
April -314.5 -18.6 40.0
May -359.5 8.4 27.3
June -416.0 4.2 85.2
July -389.4 4.4 67.6
August -327.8 -26.2 26.2
September -401.7 37.6 2.7
October -382.1 -27.2 27.1
November -286.0 61.8 44.0
December -277.3 29.3 83.5
2010
January -77.2 55.7 26.4
February -56.8 89.4 42.1
March -6.9 75.1 37.2
April 146.6 48.3 30.3
May 215.2 31.6 19.2
June 333.7 50.2 -38.3
July 315.7 35.4 -14.7
August 248.4 89.5 4.3
September 276.8 46.3 -43.9
October 317.8 57.0 -68.0
November 282.4 21.5 -46.5
December 340.9 49.0 -82.0
2011
January 296.5 67.8 -48.9
February 287.5 52.7 -45.2
March 291.8 54.9 -41.4
April 242.3 68.8 -46.1
May 196.8 59.4 -23.3
June 177.7 65.0 -32.4
July 242.2 33.8 -37.4
August 255.7 25.3 -29.9
September 238.5 41.5 14.6
October 179.5 37.2 22.6
November 176.4 48.8 -22.6
December 153.4 5.7 41.8
2012
January 103.7 4.2 14.0
February 152.4 -22.4 -7.1
March 188.4 4.5 1.2
April 255.2 3.3 -7.7
May 216.8 -3.1 33.0
June 126.0 22.7 73.8
July 118.1 60.6 0.6
August 164.7 52.2 -16.3
September 180.3 24.9 21.9
October 165.7 60.3 40.7
November 173.5 65.2 62.7
December 237.0 90.2 -15.2
2013
January 248.8 69.5 33.1
February 222.2 93.8 61.6
March 102.5 77.3 73.2
April 7.5 97.0 88.3
May 73.5 117.7 62.4
June 169.4 46.6 20.2
July 175.1 -17.5 97.9
August 163.1 -28.4 112.6
September 147.8 17.8 51.3
October 175.1 30.8 0.7
November 213.5 -17.7 -12.3
December 99.1 1.9 29.9
2014
January 149.7 -9.0 -11.3
February 135.0 -12.2 -8.8
March 195.5 -15.0 -19.8
April 173.3 -50.6 -3.3
May 155.2 -57.3 -31.0
June 110.5 -28.2 3.9
July 75.9 88.3 -41.1
August 21.8 57.4 -11.9
September 75.0 51.7 -34.3
October 142.1 -34.8 31.2
November 46.3 23.1 46.2
December 81.8 10.2 16.2
2015
January 52.8 14.9 62.6
February 35.8 45.4 53.4
March 24.2 70.7 36.7
April 65.1 64.9 2.7
May 119.9 40.8 35.2
June 103.5 82.3 -9.8
July 65.9 36.9 58.6
August 122.0 70.8 1.2
September 77.6 19.5 63.4
October 33.5 100.5 6.0
November 40.2 54.4 27.7
December 29.5 38.1 84.7
2016
January 26.9 59.5 34.1
February 62.0 12.7 36.3
March 116.4 -14.2 26.8
April 108.2 14.3 17.6
May 45.3 63.6 -5.5
June 64.6 -0.5 45.2
July 105.1 -46.5 6.9
August 97.0 0.0 -12.5
September 113.1 25.2 14.8
October 119.4 12.1 33.5
November 179.8 38.9 -21.6
December 229.0 75.0 -74.8
2017
January 256.5 67.7 -48.0
February 253.0 77.9 -42.8
March 220.1 67.1 -10.8
April 151.6 92.0 32.2
May 213.4 76.5 27.0
June 227.3 104.5 19.0
July 221.2 134.5 31.7
August 196.0 77.4 100.8
September 161.8 102.7 55.1

The national unemployment rate edged lower during the first half of 2017, declining from 6.8% at the start of the year to 6.5% in June. The unemployment rate in Alberta declined from 8.8% in January to 7.4% in June, as employment in the province edged higher in the first half (+31,000). The unemployment rate in British Columbia averaged 5.4% during the first six months of the year, compared to 6.3% in Ontario and Quebec.  

More recently, employment growth moderated in the third quarter (+43,000), supported by increases in self-employment and in full-time work. Employment in Ontario strengthened during the third quarter. The national unemployment rate fell to 6.2% in August, the lowest level since October 2008, and remained at 6.2% in September.

Trade deficits widened in mid-2017

Canada posted a cumulative merchandise trade deficit of $7.8 billion over the first half of 2017, similar to the cumulative deficit ($8.3 billion) during the last half of 2016. A larger net surplus for energy products in the first half was offset by larger deficits for non-energy products including consumer goods, aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, electronic and electrical equipment, and motor vehicles and parts. After posting modest trade deficits from February to May, the monthly trade deficit rose to $3.7 billion in June on a lower surplus for energy products.

Chart 9 – Merchandise trade balance, energy and non-energy commodities

Data table for Chart 9
Data table for Chart 9
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 9 Total, Energy and Non-Energy, calculated using billions of dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Total Energy Non-Energy
billions of dollars
2007
January 4647.9 3661.8 986.1
February 4037.6 4812.4 -774.8
March 4441.1 4193.0 248.1
April 5570.9 4438.5 1132.4
May 5337.1 4136.4 1200.7
June 3770.9 3548.1 222.8
July 2559.8 3207.4 -647.6
August 3788.6 3916.3 -127.7
September 2612.9 3965.4 -1352.5
October 3092.5 4618.3 -1525.8
November 3773.7 4567.6 -793.9
December 1961.5 4089.5 -2128.0
2008
January 2484.8 4284.3 -1799.5
February 3784.1 5327.5 -1543.4
March 5727.2 6351.2 -624.0
April 4976.0 6000.4 -1024.4
May 5623.7 6998.3 -1374.6
June 5060.8 6496.8 -1436.0
July 5592.2 6548.1 -955.9
August 5679.9 6605.1 -925.2
September 3447.8 5803.9 -2356.1
October 2610.1 4741.2 -2131.1
November 386.6 4169.8 -3783.2
December -1703.6 2902.7 -4606.3
2009
January -1767.1 3093.6 -4860.7
February -44.7 3250.4 -3295.1
March 1079.3 3801.7 -2722.4
April -676.2 2969.5 -3645.7
May -1543.6 2700.0 -4243.6
June 97.3 3649.4 -3552.1
July -782.4 3160.4 -3942.8
August -1561.3 3269.5 -4830.8
September -821.4 3775.6 -4597.0
October 360.0 4086.1 -3726.1
November -334.5 4354.9 -4689.4
December -778.8 4014.9 -4793.7
2010
January 394.0 4346.7 -3952.7
February 61.2 4467.2 -4406.0
March -1255.8 3732.8 -4988.6
April 109.6 3842.6 -3733.0
May -860.2 3779.8 -4640.0
June -1396.2 3765.0 -5161.2
July -2071.0 3452.0 -5523.0
August -1771.5 2890.1 -4661.6
September -2333.8 3439.4 -5773.2
October -1182.5 3685.1 -4867.6
November -512.8 3775.6 -4288.4
December 1115.7 4789.2 -3673.5
2011
January 744.1 4842.6 -4098.5
February -48.5 4431.9 -4480.4
March -999.5 3881.3 -4880.8
April -239.7 4494.0 -4733.7
May -1086.0 4053.7 -5139.7
June -1114.5 4526.6 -5641.1
July 148.8 4678.2 -4529.4
August 208.8 4744.0 -4535.2
September 1097.8 5199.1 -4101.3
October -840.1 4877.8 -5717.9
November 575.3 5305.7 -4730.4
December 2121.1 6015.9 -3894.8
2012
January -34.7 5887.1 -5921.8
February -1.0 5450.7 -5451.7
March -1162.1 5013.9 -6176.0
April -740.9 5081.4 -5822.3
May -1386.6 4092.9 -5479.5
June -2337.8 4804.3 -7142.1
July -3042.0 3771.5 -6813.5
August -1076.3 4301.2 -5377.5
September -1051.1 4810.8 -5861.9
October -379.3 4837.1 -5216.4
November -1673.3 4729.1 -6402.4
December -404.0 4718.1 -5122.1
2013
January -882.6 4880.9 -5763.5
February -690.4 5275.8 -5966.2
March -183.1 5617.8 -5800.9
April -153.1 5437.0 -5590.1
May -820.4 5240.3 -6060.7
June -444.0 5383.7 -5827.7
July -1656.5 5890.5 -7547.0
August -797.6 6641.7 -7439.3
September -35.1 6693.6 -6728.7
October -371.7 6469.5 -6841.2
November -1267.6 5840.2 -7107.8
December -843.3 6154.7 -6998.0
2014
January -514.9 7299.1 -7814.0
February 784.7 8278.6 -7493.9
March 1594.1 8556.4 -6962.3
April 287.1 7318.5 -7031.4
May 492.1 7457.4 -6965.3
June 1231.0 7377.6 -6146.6
July 1159.0 6905.9 -5746.9
August 667.4 7077.2 -6409.8
September 125.9 6707.6 -6581.7
October -489.0 6759.0 -7248.0
November -457.6 6062.5 -6520.1
December -1029.9 5339.2 -6369.1
2015
January -1901.9 5020.9 -6922.8
February -1624.2 5230.9 -6855.1
March -3143.5 4499.6 -7643.1
April -2458.2 4609.8 -7068.0
May -2745.9 4562.1 -7308.0
June -558.0 4817.9 -5375.9
July -962.2 4455.3 -5417.5
August -2285.3 4085.9 -6371.2
September -2056.0 3998.1 -6054.1
October -2266.9 4272.7 -6539.6
November -2081.1 3585.4 -5666.5
December -918.4 3849.5 -4767.9
2016
January -1354.1 3506.8 -4860.9
February -2352.5 2928.7 -5281.2
March -3018.3 2921.6 -5939.9
April -3151.4 3174.9 -6326.3
May -3841.3 2766.2 -6607.5
June -3990.0 2806.1 -6796.1
July -2175.8 2924.0 -5099.8
August -1927.9 3625.6 -5553.5
September -4256.7 3911.0 -8167.7
October -1380.9 4391.7 -5772.6
November 1107.3 5000.0 -3892.7
December 342.0 6229.3 -5887.3
2017
January 92.1 5656.4 -5564.3
February -1381.9 5367.3 -6749.2
March -734.3 5939.0 -6673.3
April -1004.6 5821.8 -6826.4
May -1075.5 5366.4 -6441.9
June -3693.2 4678.0 -8371.2
July -2982.7 4568.4 -7551.1
August -3413.4 4759.9 -8173.3

Energy exports during the first six months of 2017 totalled $49.1 billion, an increase of 20% from combined energy exports during the second half of last year. Exports of non-energy products rose 2.8% in the first half of 2017, reflecting widespread gains across commodities. Higher exports of metals and non-metallic mineral products, motor vehicles, and industrial machinery, equipment and parts supported the increase in non-energy exports, while exports of consumer goods and aircraft product and parts declined.

Non-energy imports strengthened during the first half of the year. Total non-energy imports during the first six months of 2017 were 5% higher than in the second half of last year. Imports of motor vehicles and parts contributed to the gain supported by higher shipments of tires, motor vehicle engines and parts. Imports of consumer products also strengthened on higher shipments of pharmaceuticals and clothing. Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts were 29% higher in the first half of the year, as ships, locomotives, railway rolling stock, and rapid transit equipment posted notable gains.

More recently, the trade deficit narrowed to $3.0 billion in July as exports and imports fell on broad-based declines across commodities. Both energy and non-energy trade declined for the second consecutive month. The trade deficit widened to $3.4 billion in August as non-energy exports declined for the third consecutive month.

Petroleum, autos and machinery bolstered manufacturing sales

Total manufacturing sales were 4.2% higher in the first half of 2017 following a 2.9% increase in the second half of 2016. Higher sales of petroleum and coal products accounted for almost one quarter of the increase, as sales rose 10.9% on higher prices and volumes. Sales of machinery products rose 12.0% in the first half, advancing steadily from January to June. Sales in this industry have been influenced by economic conditions related to oil and gas extraction, and have trended higher since mid-2016 as support and investment activities related to resource extraction began to recover from lows in 2015 and 2016. Shipments of motor vehicles also contributed to the strength in manufacturing sales during the first half of 2017, advancing 4.1% on higher volumes. Sales of motor vehicle manufacturers were $6.1 billion in May, their highest monthly level since January 2016.

Higher sales in Ontario, Quebec and Alberta were mainly responsible for the growth in manufacturing shipments during the first half of 2017. Sales in Ontario rose 2.8% on higher shipments of motor vehicles, which accounted for almost 30% of the gain. Sales of food, petroleum and coal products, and machinery also supported the increase in Ontario. Sales in Quebec rose 4.4% in the first half on widespread gains, led by aerospace products and parts. Manufacturing sales in Alberta rose by 9.2% led by gains in machinery products, petroleum and coal, and chemical products.

Chart 10 – Manufacturing sales, selected industries

Data table for Chart 10
Data table for Chart 10
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 10 Manufacturing, Petroleum and coal products, Machinery and Motor vehicles, calculated using index (January 2007=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Manufacturing Petroleum and coal products Machinery Motor vehicles
index (January 2007=100)
2007
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 99.8 107.5 101.6 99.5
March 102.1 112.0 102.4 106.4
April 102.3 115.1 102.2 98.7
May 100.4 114.6 102.7 93.6
June 98.9 112.1 102.7 84.4
July 98.7 114.7 100.2 93.0
August 98.0 113.0 100.1 85.3
September 97.6 114.1 101.2 95.2
October 97.2 115.9 99.3 94.5
November 98.2 127.6 98.9 96.3
December 94.9 132.6 96.8 65.7
2008
January 95.0 132.7 98.3 65.9
February 97.9 137.2 97.7 76.3
March 96.5 138.9 95.3 67.8
April 98.1 148.4 99.5 68.8
May 101.1 161.9 101.8 68.8
June 103.3 171.1 102.5 73.9
July 105.5 173.0 103.4 77.5
August 101.7 154.4 103.3 72.9
September 100.8 152.2 102.2 69.8
October 99.2 136.5 107.9 62.2
November 93.2 107.5 102.8 69.4
December 84.6 87.6 99.4 53.9
2009
January 80.3 93.9 92.1 30.5
February 82.3 94.2 95.8 39.4
March 79.6 95.0 89.0 45.2
April 80.3 86.7 86.6 52.6
May 76.2 95.9 82.3 41.7
June 78.3 106.7 80.5 40.9
July 82.1 104.0 81.4 60.5
August 80.9 107.5 81.2 55.0
September 82.1 104.6 79.4 62.6
October 81.9 107.2 79.0 63.2
November 83.2 111.0 80.0 60.5
December 84.3 114.4 83.0 66.1
2010
January 85.0 116.8 81.5 65.0
February 85.5 111.6 83.3 66.2
March 86.2 110.7 83.5 67.0
April 87.5 115.8 84.7 68.5
May 88.5 116.2 86.2 70.1
June 88.4 116.0 87.3 71.1
July 87.3 114.8 88.0 64.0
August 88.1 113.3 87.6 73.5
September 88.2 118.2 89.5 65.8
October 89.3 119.8 91.2 67.0
November 88.0 120.2 90.7 57.2
December 90.1 127.4 91.6 64.9
2011
January 93.3 129.4 98.7 79.1
February 91.5 132.0 93.9 69.4
March 92.6 134.1 92.6 73.3
April 92.1 136.1 98.9 62.0
May 91.0 131.6 105.6 60.9
June 90.5 124.2 102.0 62.3
July 93.5 132.2 102.3 65.1
August 94.7 135.9 102.4 66.6
September 96.5 148.6 107.7 69.6
October 96.9 142.3 104.7 73.7
November 97.6 146.4 123.2 74.9
December 99.5 140.1 115.7 82.7
2012
January 98.1 144.1 110.4 92.8
February 96.1 145.4 111.0 76.8
March 97.6 154.6 111.8 80.9
April 98.3 149.9 114.6 84.8
May 98.4 147.2 109.3 84.7
June 97.4 129.1 119.7 85.1
July 96.2 139.1 108.3 81.0
August 96.7 144.5 109.4 86.3
September 96.6 148.8 105.0 83.5
October 95.6 150.6 106.4 79.6
November 97.0 152.7 100.6 80.7
December 95.6 149.5 102.9 71.6
2013
January 95.8 147.9 105.4 74.7
February 98.0 148.3 107.8 80.0
March 97.3 141.9 107.3 80.0
April 96.5 132.1 108.0 84.4
May 96.5 126.8 112.0 80.5
June 96.0 134.9 108.1 83.5
July 96.0 141.4 111.7 78.9
August 97.7 148.1 111.6 81.4
September 97.7 148.5 108.7 85.6
October 99.0 144.7 109.5 83.9
November 99.6 143.6 112.0 87.1
December 98.0 148.9 112.2 81.5
2014
January 98.0 149.9 107.7 72.9
February 100.8 155.8 109.5 81.1
March 100.9 152.9 111.1 82.4
April 100.6 139.1 106.5 81.8
May 102.3 148.5 104.6 91.3
June 102.6 152.5 104.8 83.5
July 104.8 150.5 105.8 91.9
August 101.8 145.4 105.1 80.8
September 103.8 138.3 107.5 88.8
October 103.5 136.2 109.8 90.5
November 101.4 133.7 107.2 87.1
December 102.5 113.5 118.2 95.4
2015
January 98.8 98.8 111.8 86.8
February 97.8 106.7 108.6 77.4
March 101.1 110.3 108.7 88.8
April 98.4 100.8 107.4 85.1
May 99.3 111.0 106.0 86.5
June 101.0 112.4 104.6 91.4
July 103.1 111.2 104.6 98.0
August 102.5 103.8 99.1 105.7
September 100.8 98.4 103.8 94.4
October 99.4 92.3 101.1 96.6
November 100.4 88.7 102.0 102.0
December 101.1 84.8 104.1 104.8
2016
January 103.5 79.5 98.8 120.1
February 99.1 68.2 97.4 107.5
March 98.3 79.2 95.2 101.7
April 99.7 85.1 95.2 107.2
May 98.9 85.0 93.6 97.9
June 100.7 88.2 98.1 99.5
July 101.0 89.9 96.4 103.0
August 102.0 92.2 98.4 101.4
September 102.1 91.5 99.5 101.8
October 101.9 90.9 97.2 102.2
November 104.0 96.6 102.8 100.6
December 106.4 104.5 103.1 103.1
2017
January 106.1 111.6 103.9 107.3
February 105.9 105.9 107.0 101.7
March 107.0 103.5 110.4 106.3
April 107.7 106.8 113.4 103.3
May 109.2 103.4 116.2 110.9
June 107.1 96.1 118.3 108.0
July 104.4 96.7 116.7 86.5

More recently, manufacturing sales declined 2.6% in July on lower sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts. Longer shutdowns than usual for motor vehicle manufacturers led to a 20% decline in that month.Note 2   

Retail spending strengthened

Total retail sales were 4.6% higher in the first half of 2017, more than double the 2.1% rate of increase in the second half of 2016. Higher sales among motor vehicle and parts dealers (+6.5%) accounted for over one-third of the total increase in retail spending from January to June. Sales at gasoline stations, general merchandise stores, and building material and garden equipment dealers also contributed to the growth. Excluding sales at gas stations, retail spending rose 4.5% during the first half of the year, up from 1.3% in the second half of 2016. 

Higher sales in Ontario and Quebec accounted for nearly 50% of the national increase during the first half of the year. Retail sales in Alberta rose sharply during the first half of 2017, as spending continued to rebound from recent lows in early 2016. Sales in British Columbia also accelerated in the first half of the year, building on strong gains during 2015 and 2016.  

Home prices in Toronto moderated into mid-year

Home prices, measured year-over-year, continued to accelerate in early 2017. Based on estimates from the MLS Home Price Index, home prices rose 19.7% in the twelve months to April 2017, led by a 31.3% increase in the Greater Toronto Area.Note 3 More recently, the pace of price growth in the GTA slowed, decelerating to 14.3% year-over-year in August 2017. The Government of Ontario introduced the Fair Housing Plan in April 2017, a set of 16 measures to improve housing affordability for homebuyers and renters, which included a 15% Non-Resident Speculation Tax for the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, along with other affordability measures. 

Chart 11 – CREA MLS Home Price Index

Data table for Chart 11
Data table for Chart 11
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 11 Aggregate, Greater Vancouver, Calgary, Greater Toronto and Greater Montreal, calculated using index (January 2005=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Aggregate Greater Vancouver Calgary Greater Toronto Greater Montreal
index (January 2005=100)
2005
January 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0
February 100.9 100.6 101.0 100.9 101.2
March 101.9 101.2 102.4 101.9 102.4
April 102.8 101.7 103.5 102.7 103.1
May 103.9 103.2 105.0 103.5 103.6
June 104.8 104.7 106.1 104.0 103.9
July 105.4 106.2 107.0 104.1 104.1
August 106.1 107.5 108.1 104.4 104.5
September 107.0 109.3 109.4 104.7 105.3
October 107.6 110.0 110.8 105.1 106.0
November 108.1 110.8 112.1 105.2 106.4
December 108.6 111.7 113.9 105.3 106.4
2006
January 110.0 113.8 116.9 105.9 107.3
February 111.9 116.2 122.8 106.7 108.3
March 114.0 118.3 130.5 107.8 108.9
April 116.0 120.8 138.8 108.7 109.4
May 118.3 123.3 149.0 109.4 110.0
June 120.1 125.3 158.5 109.3 110.8
July 121.3 126.3 165.3 109.3 111.2
August 122.2 127.3 170.2 109.2 111.6
September 123.0 128.2 172.8 109.4 111.8
October 123.3 128.3 174.1 109.4 112.7
November 123.4 128.4 174.1 109.4 113.1
December 123.2 128.2 172.9 109.0 113.4
2007
January 124.2 130.0 174.2 109.5 113.9
February 125.9 131.4 177.3 110.9 114.7
March 127.8 132.8 182.3 112.1 115.4
April 129.7 134.8 186.7 113.3 116.1
May 131.6 136.7 191.0 114.5 116.9
June 133.1 138.5 193.3 115.4 117.7
July 134.1 139.7 194.7 116.0 118.8
August 134.8 141.0 195.1 116.4 119.3
September 135.3 142.1 194.6 117.0 119.6
October 135.6 142.8 193.1 117.7 120.0
November 135.7 143.5 191.0 118.0 120.5
December 135.6 144.0 188.5 118.0 120.8
2008
January 136.2 145.2 186.9 118.4 121.4
February 137.5 146.8 186.7 119.5 122.8
March 138.7 148.1 187.3 120.2 123.6
April 139.4 148.7 187.5 120.6 124.4
May 139.6 149.0 186.2 120.9 125.0
June 139.4 149.5 184.5 120.7 125.8
July 138.5 147.0 182.2 120.1 126.8
August 137.7 145.3 180.6 119.8 127.7
September 136.6 143.4 178.4 119.2 128.1
October 135.0 139.5 176.5 118.4 128.2
November 133.2 135.6 173.8 117.2 128.3
December 131.1 131.8 170.9 115.6 128.0
2009
January 129.6 131.0 167.1 113.8 128.2
February 128.8 130.0 164.4 113.1 128.2
March 128.7 129.1 163.2 113.7 128.1
April 129.4 130.8 162.1 114.8 128.3
May 130.6 132.6 162.6 116.4 128.6
June 131.8 134.5 163.9 118.2 129.1
July 133.2 136.8 165.2 119.9 129.8
August 134.7 139.1 166.7 121.7 130.4
September 136.2 141.6 167.9 123.4 131.1
October 137.5 142.8 169.2 125.1 131.9
November 138.6 144.7 170.2 126.6 132.6
December 139.4 146.3 171.0 127.4 133.1
2010
January 140.8 147.9 172.0 128.9 134.2
February 142.7 149.6 174.4 130.7 136.4
March 144.3 151.2 177.2 132.2 138.1
April 145.2 152.4 178.2 133.1 139.1
May 145.5 152.2 179.4 133.2 140.0
June 145.3 151.5 179.5 132.6 140.6
July 144.5 150.1 178.3 131.6 141.1
August 143.8 149.3 175.9 131.2 141.3
September 143.6 148.7 174.2 131.4 141.6
October 143.4 148.4 172.4 131.6 142.0
November 143.4 148.7 170.8 132.0 142.5
December 143.5 148.6 169.9 132.7 142.8
2011
January 144.3 150.1 169.1 133.8 143.8
February 145.9 151.6 170.2 135.9 145.5
March 147.5 154.4 171.1 137.4 146.7
April 148.9 157.7 171.9 138.8 147.3
May 150.0 159.3 172.7 140.1 147.5
June 150.5 160.5 173.8 140.6 147.3
July 150.9 161.1 173.8 141.3 147.6
August 151.1 161.2 173.3 142.0 147.7
September 151.1 160.8 172.5 142.3 147.9
October 151.3 160.2 171.6 143.1 148.4
November 151.1 159.7 170.9 143.3 147.8
December 150.8 159.0 169.5 143.9 146.1
2012
January 151.2 159.1 169.1 144.2 147.1
February 152.6 160.8 170.4 146.1 147.6
March 154.5 162.6 171.8 148.3 149.8
April 155.9 163.8 173.4 150.1 150.7
May 156.9 164.5 175.3 151.4 151.0
June 157.2 163.2 176.5 151.7 151.5
July 156.9 162.0 176.9 151.3 151.0
August 156.6 160.3 177.0 151.1 151.1
September 156.3 159.4 177.1 151.0 151.2
October 156.0 158.7 176.7 150.8 151.2
November 155.5 157.4 176.6 150.4 150.7
December 155.0 155.9 176.4 150.0 150.8
2013
January 155.0 155.2 177.2 149.9 150.9
February 156.0 155.8 178.9 150.8 151.9
March 157.5 156.5 180.7 152.9 153.2
April 159.0 157.7 183.1 154.7 153.8
May 160.2 157.7 185.1 156.0 156.2
June 160.6 158.6 186.3 156.7 155.1
July 160.8 158.7 187.3 156.8 154.7
August 161.0 158.6 188.1 157.1 154.7
September 161.1 158.7 189.0 157.4 154.7
October 161.6 158.6 190.9 157.9 154.7
November 162.0 159.3 191.9 158.9 154.6
December 161.8 159.2 192.5 159.2 153.9
2014
January 162.7 160.2 193.6 160.4 153.8
February 164.1 161.0 196.0 161.9 155.6
March 165.8 162.6 198.7 164.0 156.2
April 167.2 163.5 201.6 165.7 156.1
May 168.5 165.0 204.7 167.2 156.2
June 169.5 165.9 206.7 168.8 156.2
July 169.7 166.0 207.7 169.1 155.6
August 169.7 166.6 208.3 169.0 155.0
September 170.0 167.1 209.0 169.3 154.8
October 170.7 168.1 209.5 170.4 155.0
November 170.7 168.2 209.1 171.1 154.7
December 170.8 168.6 209.0 171.6 154.3
2015
January 171.2 169.4 209.5 172.2 154.5
February 172.7 171.6 208.8 174.4 155.3
March 174.4 174.6 208.4 176.9 156.8
April 176.2 177.7 206.9 179.8 157.7
May 177.8 180.8 206.8 182.1 157.7
June 179.1 183.2 207.5 184 158
July 180 185 207.4 185.1 158.3
August 180.5 187.1 207.3 185.9 157.4
September 181.5 190.6 207.3 187 157
October 182.1 193.9 206.4 187.6 157.1
November 183.1 198.2 205.4 188.3 157
December 183.5 200.6 204.1 188.9 157.2
2016
January 184.6 204.5 202.6 189.7 156.7
February 187.5 210.5 201.4 193.1 157.8
March 190.9 216.2 200 197.5 159.2
April 195 223.8 199.5 202.5 159.9
May 200.5 234.9 199.1 209.1 160.5
June 203.9 242 199.4 212.8 160.8
July 206 245.2 199.3 215.3 160.8
August 207.4 246 199.3 217.5 161.3
September 208.4 244.5 199.2 220.1 161.2
October 209.8 242.5 198.8 224.2 161.1
November 210.3 240 197.7 226 161.8
December 210.7 237 197.5 228.2 162.3
2017
January 214.2 236.8 197.2 232.5 162.5
February 218.4 239.7 197 239.6 163
March 226.4 244 197.5 254.1 164.7
April 233.4 249.8 198 265.8 166
May 236.2 256.5 199.6 268.6 166.7
June 236.1 261.1 200.6 266.7 167.5
July 232.5 266.5 201.4 254.3 168.7
August 230.7 269.2 200.9 248.5 168.8

Home prices in the Greater Vancouver area increased in the first half, up 7.9% year-over-year in June 2017. Home prices in Greater Vancouver had decelerated in the second half of 2016, following the introduction of an additional property transfer tax rate of 15% for foreign nationals. More recently, the pace of price growth in Greater Vancouver edged higher in the summer months, reaching 9.4% year-over-year in August.

Following twenty-two months of consecutive year-over-year declines, home prices in Calgary edged higher on a year-over-year basis from May to August.

Housing starts increased on multi-family dwellings

Monthly housing starts averaged 215,000 units (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) in the first half of 2017, up from 198,100 units in the second half of 2016. Higher multi-family starts supported the gains, as Quebec and Ontario posted increases. Total starts continued to rise in July and August. 

Investment in new housing construction, measured year-over-year, also strengthened during the first half of 2017. Capital spending on single units rose 11.7% year-over-year in June 2017, and has trended upward since early 2016. Outlays on double units increased, while spending on apartments moderated, down 0.2% year-over-year in June for the second consecutive decline. Residential building permits edged up to $5.1 billion in the mid-2017.

Headline inflation slowed

Consumer price inflation, measured year-over-year, slowed during the first half of 2017, decelerating from 2.1% in January to 1.0% in June. During this period, lower prices for food, clothing and footwear were offset by price movements in transportation and shelter.   

Measured on a year-over-year basis, food prices declined during the first five months of the year, while prices for clothing and footwear fell from March to July. The energy index accelerated early in 2017 as gasoline prices were 23.1% higher year-over-year in February. The growth in energy prices decelerated from February to June as gasoline prices moderated.

Shelter prices were 2.4% higher year-over-year to start 2017, and have moderated in recent months, slowing to 1.3% in July. Electricity prices declined on a year-over-year basis during the first half of the year, with prices more than 5% lower in May and June led by declines in Ontario. Increases in the homeowner’s replacement cost index, which reflects changes in new housing prices, averaged 4.1% during the first half of the year.     

Excluding food and energy, consumer price inflation slowed during the first five months of the year, from 2.2% in January to 1.4% in May. Inflation excluding food and energy remained at 1.4% in June, before edging up to 1.5% in July.

After accelerating to 2.8% to start the year, the durable goods price index slowed to 0.2% in April, before declining year-over-year from May to July. Price inflation among non-durables also slowed in late spring. Price increases for services, measured year-over-year, remained above 2% throughout the first half of 2017, averaging 2.3% during this period. 

The Bank of Canada’s preferred measures of core inflation were all below 2% during the first half of 2017. In June, the three year-over-year measures (CPI-trim, CPI-common, and CPI-median) ranged from 1.2% to 1.5%.Note 4 Two of these measures, CPI-trim and CPI-median, edged lower during the first half of 2017.

Chart 12 – Consumer price index

Data table for Chart 12
Data table for Chart 12
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 12 Durable goods, Non-durable goods and Services, calculated using year-over-year change (percent) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Durable goods Non-durable goods Services
year-over-year change (percent)
2007
January -2.0 -0.4 3.0
February -1.8 2.5 3.2
March -1.7 3.5 3.2
April -1.5 2.1 3.3
May -1.1 2.4 3.2
June -0.5 2.2 3.3
July -0.5 0.9 3.7
August -1.1 -0.1 3.8
September -0.9 2.9 3.6
October -2.0 3.2 3.5
November -3.0 3.8 3.4
December -3.2 3.4 3.5
2008
January -4.2 3.9 3.3
February -5.2 2.8 3.5
March -5.2 1.7 3.3
April -4.8 3.0 3.3
May -6.1 4.8 3.7
June -6.4 7.3 3.7
July -6.4 8.9 3.6
August -5.8 9.1 3.5
September -6.3 9.2 3.4
October -6.2 6.6 3.4
November -3.0 2.9 3.3
December -3.7 0.8 3.1
2009
January -5.3 0.8 3.0
February -3.6 1.6 2.8
March -4.3 1.1 2.8
April -4.3 -1.7 2.5
May -2.6 -2.6 2.2
June -2.0 -3.3 2.0
July -1.9 -5.4 1.8
August -2.3 -4.3 1.7
September -3.1 -4.7 1.8
October -1.7 -2.6 1.8
November -2.8 1.6 1.5
December -2.6 2.9 1.4
2010
January 0.3 3.4 1.8
February 0.0 2.1 2.0
March 0.0 2.5 1.5
April 0.6 3.5 1.6
May 0.1 2.2 1.6
June -0.5 0.6 1.7
July -0.9 2.9 2.4
August -0.6 2.6 2.2
September 0.7 2.9 2.1
October 0.7 4.1 2.3
November 0.0 2.8 2.6
December -0.1 4.1 2.5
2011
January -0.5 3.9 2.6
February -0.9 4.3 2.2
March -0.1 6.0 2.9
April -1.3 7.3 2.7
May -1.0 7.6 2.8
June -2.9 7.4 2.6
July -2.0 6.6 2.1
August -1.3 6.7 2.4
September -0.9 6.5 2.7
October -0.3 6.2 2.2
November -0.7 5.7 2.2
December -1.7 4.4 2.2
2012
January -0.7 4.6 2.2
February -1.0 4.9 2.3
March -0.9 2.9 2.3
April 0.1 1.8 2.5
May -0.3 0.7 2.2
June 0.5 0.7 2.2
July -0.1 0.7 2.0
August -0.2 1.6 1.8
September -0.7 1.7 1.6
October -0.7 1.6 1.6
November -1.4 0.7 1.6
December -0.8 0.4 1.6
2013
January -1.0 -0.2 1.4
February 0.7 1.3 1.5
March 0.0 0.7 1.3
April -0.8 0.0 0.9
May -1.4 0.9 1.1
June 0.2 1.8 1.2
July 0.4 1.8 1.4
August -0.4 0.7 1.5
September 0.0 0.8 1.5
October 0.2 -0.4 1.5
November -0.8 1.0 1.5
December 0.0 1.8 1.5
2014
January -0.1 1.9 1.8
February -0.2 1.0 1.8
March 0.6 2.3 1.7
April 0.4 3.5 2.0
May 0.7 3.9 2.1
June 0.5 3.8 2.1
July 0.1 3.2 2.1
August 0.7 2.6 2.4
September -0.5 2.7 2.4
October -0.1 3.2 2.4
November 0.4 2.0 2.0
December 0.4 0.4 2.1
2015
January 0.1 -1.0 2.1
February -0.7 -0.9 2.3
March 0.9 -1.0 2.3
April 1.5 -2.1 2.0
May 1.9 -1.5 1.9
June 2.1 -0.8 1.9
July 2.6 -0.4 1.9
August 1.8 -0.2 1.8
September 2.1 -1.4 1.9
October 1.8 -0.8 1.9
November 2.0 0.1 1.8
December 2.7 1.2 1.7
2016
January 3.4 2.5 1.7
February 3.4 0.4 1.6
March 2.4 0.1 1.8
April 3.1 1.2 1.8
May 3.2 0.1 1.9
June 3.8 -0.5 1.9
July 3.5 -1.2 2.1
August 3.6 -1.0 1.8
September 3.7 -0.3 1.8
October 3.0 0.4 1.8
November 2.2 -0.4 2.0
December 2.2 0.3 2.0
2017
January 2.8 1.8 2.3
February 2.6 1.7 2.2
March 1.2 1.0 2.2
April 0.2 1.8 2.5
May -0.7 0.7 2.3
June -1.1 0.0 2.4
July -0.9 0.6 2.1
August -0.9 1.2 2.2

Equities edged lower as energy stocks declined

After increasing during late 2016 and early 2017, the S&P/TSX composite edged lower towards mid-year, closing at 15,182 in June, down 0.7% from year-end 2016. Equities advanced from January to April, as industrials, information technology, and the consumer indices supported gains. Following notable increases in the second half of 2016, energy weighed on equities during the first half of 2017. The energy index declined in five of the first six months of the year, and in June was down 22% from year-end 2016. Financials also moderated in the first half, following notable strength in late 2016. After declines from March to May, the financial index at mid-year was little changed (+0.7%) from levels at year-end.  

The Canadian dollar also edged lower against the U.S dollar into the spring, trading at a recent low of 72.8 cents U.S. in early May. However, the dollar appreciated markedly in June and July, trading at 78.5 cents U.S. shortly after the Bank of Canada’s decision to raise the target for the overnight rate by 25 basis points on July 12th. The dollar continued to appreciate during late summer, trading at a recent high of 82.3 cents U.S. following the Bank of Canada’s decision on September 6th to raise the target for the overnight rate by an additional 25 basis points. Measured on a trade-weighted basis, the Canadian dollar also appreciated against major non-U.S. currencies in recent months, advancing against the euro and the U.K. pound sterling in July.

Chart 13 – Exchange rates

Data table for Chart 13
Data table for Chart 13
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 13 Exchange rate and CERI excluding US$ (RHS), calculated using CAN$/US$ and index (1992=100) units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Exchange rate CERI excluding US$ (RHS)
CAN$/US$ index (1992=100)
2007
January 0.850 109.68
February 0.854 109.32
March 0.856 110.11
April 0.882 113.74
May 0.913 118.59
June 0.939 119.26
July 0.952 117.35
August 0.945 118.12
September 0.975 122.63
October 1.025 127.11
November 1.034 119.20
December 0.997 121.49
2008
January 0.989 117.37
February 1.001 118.06
March 0.998 109.43
April 0.986 112.99
May 1.001 114.64
June 0.984 111.23
July 0.987 110.94
August 0.948 111.27
September 0.945 114.01
October 0.844 104.92
November 0.821 103.79
December 0.810 101.03
2009
January 0.815 103.86
February 0.803 104.25
March 0.791 102.69
April 0.817 107.46
May 0.869 111.51
June 0.888 105.43
July 0.891 112.14
August 0.919 110.11
September 0.924 111.28
October 0.948 109.93
November 0.944 109.85
December 0.948 115.30
2010
January 0.959 114.11
February 0.946 116.02
March 0.978 121.50
April 0.995 122.82
May 0.962 123.32
June 0.963 120.15
July 0.959 119.34
August 0.960 117.02
September 0.968 116.27
October 0.982 114.95
November 0.987 118.47
December 0.992 119.83
2011
January 1.006 117.49
February 1.013 120.31
March 1.024 119.38
April 1.044 118.53
May 1.033 117.69
June 1.024 118.01
July 1.047 118.21
August 1.017 115.76
September 0.997 114.38
October 0.981 117.03
November 0.975 116.46
December 0.977 118.55
2012
January 0.987 118.19
February 1.003 120.43
March 1.006 119.44
April 1.007 120.30
May 0.990 119.87
June 0.973 119.74
July 0.986 122.48
August 1.008 123.16
September 1.022 121.44
October 1.013 119.96
November 1.003 121.26
December 1.011 121.58
2013
January 1.008 121.05
February 0.990 120.32
March 0.976 122.64
April 0.982 122.67
May 0.981 122.17
June 0.969 119.87
July 0.961 121.07
August 0.961 118.65
September 0.967 119.73
October 0.965 117.65
November 0.953 116.74
December 0.940 116.14
2014
January 0.914 111.70
February 0.905 110.95
March 0.900 111.53
April 0.910 111.96
May 0.918 113.35
June 0.923 114.85
July 0.931 114.33
August 0.915 115.76
September 0.908 115.98
October 0.892 116.38
November 0.883 117.53
December 0.867 118.41
2015
January 0.825 111.31
February 0.800 113.64
March 0.792 114.61
April 0.811 117.86
May 0.821 116.16
June 0.809 115.00
July 0.777 111.23
August 0.761 109.82
September 0.754 108.54
October 0.765 111.07
November 0.753 112.01
December 0.730 107.13
2016
January 0.703 107.06
February 0.725 109.67
March 0.756 110.76
April 0.780 112.85
May 0.773 111.48
June 0.775 112.20
July 0.766 111.47
August 0.770 111.41
September 0.763 111.05
October 0.755 111.26
November 0.744 116.08
December 0.750 117.16
2017
January 0.758 118.46
February 0.763 116.60
March 0.747 114.59
April 0.744 110.47
May 0.735 110.03
June 0.752 113.39
July 0.788 115.44
August 0.793 114.52
September 0.814 115.78

After little change from January to May, yields on benchmark Government of Canada short-term bonds rose in June and July. Yields on five-year bonds were at 1.58% in July, up from 1.17% at the start of the year, and from 0.65% in July 2016. Yields on ten-year bonds were at 1.96% in July, up 89 basis points from a year earlier. Chartered bank conventional five-year mortgage rates also rose in July, as the major chartered banks increased their prime lending rates by 25 basis points following the increase in the overnight rate. Mortgage lending rates also rose following the Bank of Canada’s interest rate increase in September, while five-year benchmark bond yields rose to 1.8%, the highest level since December 2013.

Lower energy prices offset higher prices for non-energy commodities

After gains in late 2016, overall commodity prices in mid-2017 were little changed from year-end levels, as lower energy prices were offset by higher prices for metals and minerals, agricultural and forestry products. Energy prices in June were down 8.4% from prices at year-end 2016. Excluding energy, commodity prices rose 9.8% during the first six months of the year. 

Overall commodity prices rose from July to September, supported by higher prices for energy and metals and minerals.  

Consumer credit increase highest since late 2009

The net worth of households was little changed in the second quarter (-0.1%), as lower housing prices and resale activity, coupled with weaker equity prices, weighed on the growth of household assets. Total household assets in the second quarter were valued at $12.6 trillion, while total financial liabilities amounted to $2.1 trillion.

Household credit market debt rose 1.9% in the second quarter following a 0.5% increase in the first. The accumulation of debt liabilities in the quarter reflected increases in mortgages, non-mortgage loans, and consumer credit. After remaining unchanged in the first quarter, consumer credit, which includes home-equity lines of credit, rose 2.4% in the second, the highest quarterly increase since late 2009. Mortgage debt rose 1.6% in the second quarter, following a 0.8% gain in the first.

Chart 14 – Change in household credit market debt

Data table for Chart 14
Data table for Chart 14
Table summary
This table displays the results of Data table for Chart 14 Loans, Consumer credit, Non-mortgage loans and Mortgages, calculated using billions of dollars units of measure (appearing as column headers).
Loans Consumer credit Non-mortgage loans Mortgages
billions of dollars
2007
Quarter 1 22.1 6.1 2.4 13.5
Quarter 2 40.3 12.7 2.3 25.3
Quarter 3 38.7 11.5 0.6 26.5
Quarter 4 28.4 5.9 1.4 21.1
2008
Quarter 1 25.8 9.1 1.9 14.8
Quarter 2 37.7 11.4 1.8 24.5
Quarter 3 31.6 10.0 0.8 20.8
Quarter 4 18.1 4.3 0.6 13.2
2009
Quarter 1 8.2 5.9 0.1 2.3
Quarter 2 31.9 13.1 0.1 18.7
Quarter 3 29.6 9.8 0.5 19.3
Quarter 4 28.9 12.6 -1.0 17.3
2010
Quarter 1 11.2 -2.4 2.0 11.7
Quarter 2 30.6 3.6 0.0 27.0
Quarter 3 22.8 7.6 0.5 14.7
Quarter 4 21.1 7.2 -1.0 14.9
2011
Quarter 1 7.0 -0.8 1.6 6.1
Quarter 2 32.2 8.1 -0.1 24.2
Quarter 3 25.2 6.4 -1.1 19.9
Quarter 4 20.5 4.4 1.4 14.8
2012
Quarter 1 5.9 -6.8 2.7 10.0
Quarter 2 25.7 7.4 1.3 16.9
Quarter 3 25.6 8.4 -0.7 18.0
Quarter 4 15.6 3.8 -0.8 12.5
2013
Quarter 1 3.4 -0.3 2.0 1.7
Quarter 2 26.3 7.4 0.3 18.6
Quarter 3 25.2 6.3 1.5 17.5
Quarter 4 13.5 4.1 -0.2 9.6
2014
Quarter 1 6.6 -0.8 1.5 5.8
Quarter 2 27.0 8.6 0.1 18.2
Quarter 3 27.6 5.3 2.2 20.2
Quarter 4 17.5 3.7 1.2 12.6
2015
Quarter 1 7.6 -2.4 2.5 7.5
Quarter 2 37.3 8.3 5.9 23.1
Quarter 3 32.9 5.9 1.0 26.0
Quarter 4 22.5 2.4 1.0 19.1
2016
Quarter 1 14.2 0.7 3.7 9.9
Quarter 2 36.2 9.9 0.8 25.5
Quarter 3 24.7 2.4 -0.7 23.0
Quarter 4 24.0 6.7 1.3 16.0
2017
Quarter 1 11.0 -0.2 0.8 10.4
Quarter 2 38.4 14.4 2.7 21.2

The ratio of household credit market debt to disposable income rose to 167.8% in the second quarter, while the household debt service ratio, which includes obligations on principal and interest owing, was unchanged at 14.2%. The ratio of household debt to household assets edged up to 16.7% in the quarter, but has generally trended lower since the 2008-2009 recession.

References

Clarke, S. and L. Couture. 2017. Real growth of Canadian manufacturing since 2000.  Economic Insights, no. 74. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

MLS Home Price Index Methodology, version 2.1, July 6, 2016. The Canadian Real Estate Association.   

Richards, E. (2017a). Differences in Post-recession Performance for Auto Manufacturers and Service Industries. Economic Insights, no. 067. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Richards, E. (2017b). Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Reposition in 2015. Economic Insights, no. 068. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 11-626-X. Ottawa: Statistics Canada.

Statistics Canada. Bank of Canada’s preferred measures of core inflation. Last updated November 18, 2016. Available at: http://www23.statcan.gc.ca/imdb-bmdi/document/2301_D63_T9_V1-eng.htm (accessed March 22, 2016).

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