Ottawa – Real gross domestic product grew 0.2% in February 2014, Statistics Canada reports. The output of goods-producing industries rose 0.5%, led by increases in mining and oil and gas extraction as well as manufacturing. Utilities also advanced, while construction was unchanged. In contrast, the agriculture and forestry sector declined.
The output of service industries edged up 0.1% in February. Increases in wholesale trade, retail trade, accommodation and food services as well as the public sector (education, health and public administration combined) were mostly offset by declines in arts and entertainment, professional services and the finance and insurance sector.
The mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector increases
Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction increased 1.5% in February. Mining and quarrying (excluding oil and gas extraction) rose 4.8%, primarily as a result of increased copper and nickel mining. Oil and gas extraction grew 0.7%, mainly as a result of higher natural gas production. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction were up 0.2%.
Manufacturing output rises
Manufacturing output rose 0.6% in February, after increasing 1.6% in January. Durable-goods manufacturing grew 0.7%, led by transportation equipment. There were also gains in primary metals and non-metallic mineral products. In contrast, manufacturing of computer and electronic products as well as machinery declined.
Non-durable goods manufacturing rose 0.4% in February. Increases were recorded in chemical, petroleum and coal products and paper manufacturing. These gains were partly offset by declines in the manufacturing of food, textile, clothing and leather products as well as plastic and rubber products.
Wholesale and retail trade grow
Wholesale trade grew 0.6% in February, as almost all major industrial subgroups increased. Gains were notable in wholesaling of farm products, machinery, equipment and supplies and building materials and supplies.
Retail trade rose 0.2% in February as a result of notable gains at health and personal care stores and, to a lesser extent, at general merchandise stores (which includes department stores). Lower activity at motor vehicles and parts dealers partly offset these increases.
The agriculture and forestry sector declined 1.5% in February, mainly as a result of lower crop production.
Utilities grew 0.5% in February, after falling 0.7% in January. Natural gas distribution rose in February while the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry also advanced.