Ottawa, ON — Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.2% in October 2010, following a 0.1% decline in September, according to Statistics Canada. Mining and oil and gas extraction was the main source of growth. Gains were also posted by real estate agents and brokers, the public sector, wholesale trade and transportation. Conversely, manufacturing, construction, utilities, retail trade as well as the finance and insurance sectors retreated.
Mining and oil and gas extraction rose 2.4% in October. Oil and gas extraction advanced 1.3%, almost entirely on the strength of natural gas. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction rebounded (+9.9%) from its September decline, when unfavourable weather had hampered rigging activities. Pipeline transportation also increased.
Output at copper, nickel, lead and zinc mines continued to recover following the end of labour disputes. Their output in October reached the levels recorded in the spring of 2009.
Manufacturing decreased 0.6% in October, with manufacturers of non-durable goods cutting back production by 2.3% while those of durable goods increasing their output by 0.8%. Output at refineries was significantly reduced, partly due to extended maintenance. The manufacturing of pharmaceutical products as well as that of food and beverage products also declined. In contrast, manufacturers of motor vehicles and associated parts increased their production. On the whole, manufacturers reduced their inventories in October to help meet demand.
An increase in the home resale market in several parts of the country led to a 5.1% rise in the output of real estate agents and brokers, marking a third consecutive monthly gain.
Construction declined 0.5% in October as residential building construction fell 1.7%. The construction of single dwellings as well as alterations and improvements led the drop. Non-residential building construction increased while engineering and repair work was unchanged.
INCREASE IN WHOLESALE TRADE BUT DECLINE IN RETAIL
Wholesale trade grew 0.5% in October. This was mainly due to higher wholesaling activity of motor vehicles and parts, and personal and household goods. These gains were partly offset by reduced wholesaling of machinery and equipment.
Retail trade fell 0.4% after an increase of a similar magnitude in September. The decline in October was largely attributable to clothing stores and general merchandise stores (which include department stores). However, notable increases were reported by furniture, home furnishings and electronics stores.
The finance and insurance sector declined 0.3%, due to a reduced volume of trading on the stock exchanges and lower activities in the insurance sector. Banking activities were unchanged.
Data on gross domestic product by industry for November 2010 will be released on January 31, 2011.