Review of Economic Statistics — November 2, 2018

Catalogue number: Catalogue number: 36-26-0001

Issue number: 2018007

Release date: November 2, 2018

Review of Economic Statistics — November 2, 2018 - Transcript

(The Statistics Canada symbol and Canada wordmark appear on screen with the title: "Review of Economic Statistics — November 2, 2018")

(Background music plays while title card with the text "Review of Economic Statistics" appears on screen.)

Richard Evans: Welcome to the Review of Economic Statistics. I'm Richard Evans.

Guy Gellatly: I'm Guy Gellatly.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Richard Evans, Director General, Industry Statistics. Guy Gellatly, Principal Researcher.")

Richard Evans: Guy, we're looking at two very important reports for the third quarter: the September merchandise trade and the August GDP. We also have our first peek at the fourth quarter with the employment report for October. So, I'd like to work through those in reverse chronological order. So, let's start with the employment report. Employment in the third quarter had shown modest gains, thanks to increases in part-time workers and the…

Guy Gellatly: Among the private sector.

Richard Evans: Private sector. In the private sector, thank you. So, what happened in October?

Guy Gellatly: Richard, overall employment was little changed in October. There were no sizeable movements in full-time or in part-time work, and the number of private sector employees was basically unchanged in the month. There was some higher employment amongst core-age workers, so those aged 25 to 54, along with some declines among youth.

Richard Evans: Okay, so some gains there, but overall fairly stable. If we look at the breakdowns that we have, provincially or by industry, anything notable there?

Guy Gellatly: Richard, there too, not a lot of notable movements to report. Employment was basically unchanged for most provinces in October. And, if you look at major industries for Canada as a whole, there too, not a lot of large movements as we shift from September into October.

Richard Evans: Alright. And what was October's unemployment rate?

Guy Gellatly: The unemployment rate edged down to 5.8%, and, Richard, it's been in that 5.8-to-6 range now really since late last year.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Employment was little changed in Ocotober as the unemployment rate edged down to 5.8%.")

Richard Evans: Alright. So, let's move now to the third quarter, and let's look at that merchandise trade report for September. The August data had shown some pullback. What happened in September?

Guy Gellatly: Both imports and exports edging down in September. Imports down 0.4%. Exports down 0.2%. It's important to note, Richard, that those September numbers will reflect revisions to the August data as well. And I'll point to a revision in the import data for August—the key idea here is that imports are still down in August, but they're not down as much as originally reported when those data were initially…

Richard Evans: First released a month ago.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Merchandise exports and imports edged down in September.")

Guy Gellatly: Released. That's right. And as a result, that small trade surplus that we originally reported for August has been revised to a small trade deficit in the month.

Richard Evans: Very good. And I understand there's more information about that revision in the merchandise trade report that appears on November 2nd. Our viewers can check that in The Daily. So, speaking of trade balances, what was the trade balance in September?

Guy Gellatly: So, in September, the merchandise trade balance was a deficit of about 400 million, and that's fairly similar to the revised number for August.

Richard Evans: For August. Alright. And now rounding out our discussion with the GDP, GDP in July had gone up 0.2%. Did that trend continue in August?

Guy Gellatly: Richard, continued growth in August—real GDP edging up 0.1%. Higher activity in oil and gas extraction and finance really key contributors to the growth in August, and that was partly offset by some lower output in the manufacturing sector.

(Text on screen below presenters: "Real gross domestic product edge up 0.1% in August – the seventh consecutive monthly increase.")

Richard Evans: Excellent, thank you, Guy. And finally, to close out, there is a new article that's just been published. It provides a summary of changes in output, employment, prices and trade, aptly titled "Recent developments in the Canadian economy." Its scope is 2018, and it provides that kind of synthesis of all the pieces that we've been talking about, but over a longer period and in more depth. You can find it on our website.

(Background music plays while title card with the text "Review of Economic Statistics — November 2, 2018" appears on screen.)

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