Ottawa – Canada’s real gross domestic product grew 0.1% in April 2014, the same pace as in March, Statistics Canada reports.
The output of service industries increased 0.3% in April, led by wholesale and retail trade. Notable increases were also recorded in accommodation and food services as well as professional services. The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) edged up. The finance and insurance sector was unchanged in April.
The output of goods-producing industries fell 0.3% as a result of declines in all major sub-sectors except manufacturing. There were notable declines in mining and oil and gas extraction, construction and utilities, while manufacturing was up.
Wholesale and retail trade rise
Wholesale trade rose 1.3% in April, led by increases in wholesaling of machinery, equipment and supplies as well as building materials and supplies. In contrast, the wholesaling of petroleum products and of food, beverage and tobacco products declined.
Retail trade grew 0.8% in April, following a 0.1% decline in March. Notable gains were recorded at motor vehicles and parts dealers, food and beverage stores, clothing and clothing accessories stores as well as at general merchandise stores (which include department stores).
Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction declines
After increasing for three consecutive months, mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction declined 0.6% in April. Oil and gas extraction decreased 0.8% as a result of declines in both oil and natural gas production. Maintenance activities at some petroleum facilities affected production in April.
Mining and quarrying (excluding oil and gas extraction) fell 1.3%, mainly as a result of declines in metal ore and coal mining, which more than offset gains in non-metallic mineral mining.
In contrast, support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction increased 1.9% in April, as gains in rigging services outweighed declines in drilling services.
Construction declined 0.6% in April, with all major components (residential and non-residential building, engineering and repair work) decreasing. Declines were most notable in residential building and repair construction.
The output of real estate agents and brokers increased 3.0% in April, up for a third consecutive month, as activity in the home resale market rose.
Manufacturing output increases
Manufacturing output rose 0.2% in April, a fourth consecutive monthly increase. Durable-goods manufacturing was up 0.4%, mainly as a result of gains in fabricated metal products, computer and electronics products as well as machinery. In contrast, primary metal and non-metallic mineral products manufacturing declined.
Non-durable goods manufacturing was unchanged in April. The increase in manufacturing of plastic and rubber products was offset by declines in manufacturing of food and chemical products.
Utilities decreased 1.0% in April as a result of lower demand for electricity. This follows a 1.0% increase in March. Natural gas distribution was up in April.
The finance and insurance sector was unchanged. A decrease in insurance services offset gains in banking and financial investment services.