Ottawa, ON — Real gross domestic product grew 0.2% in July 2012, after edging up 0.1% in June, according to Statistics Canada. Goods production increased 0.2% in July, on the strength of manufacturing and utilities. In contrast, mining and oil and gas extraction as well as construction declined.
The output of service industries rose 0.2% in July, mainly as a result of increases in retail and wholesale trade, the finance and insurance sector, and accommodation and food services. The public sector (education, health and public administration combined) was essentially unchanged in July.
Manufacturing grew 0.6% in July after declining 0.7% in June. Durable goods production expanded 0.7% in July, mainly as a result of increases in computer and electronics products, as well as non-metallic mineral, primary metal and fabricated metal products.
Manufacturers of machinery recorded declines, however. Manufacturing of non-durable goods rose 0.6%, as increases in petroleum and coal products, plastics and rubber products and chemical products more than offset decreases in printing and related support activities and paper manufacturing.
Utilities grew 2.0%, the fourth consecutive monthly increase, as both electricity production and natural gas distribution increased. Demand for electricity and natural gas was up due to warmer than usual weather and increased industrial activity.
Retail as well as wholesale trade increase
Retail trade rose 0.6% in July after edging down 0.1% in June. Notable increases were recorded at motor vehicles and parts dealers, general merchandise stores, as well as health and personal care stores. In contrast, retailing activity at food and beverage stores was down.
Wholesale trade was up 0.2% in July, after declining 0.9% in June. Wholesaling of petroleum products and personal and households goods increased. Conversely, wholesaling of food, beverage and tobacco as well as machinery, equipment and supplies declined.
Mining and oil and gas extraction declines
Mining and oil and gas extraction declined 0.3% in July. Oil and gas extraction decreased 0.2% in July as a decline in crude petroleum production outweighed an increase in natural gas extraction. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction also fell (-2.9%) as drilling and rigging services decreased.
Pipeline transportation of crude oil and natural gas decreased, reflecting lower exports of these commodities.
Mining excluding oil and gas extraction grew 0.3% in July as increased output at coal and metal ore mines was partly offset by decreased output at non-metallic mineral mines, in particular potash.
Finance and insurance sector activity increases
The finance and insurance sector rose 0.5% in July, the fourth consecutive monthly gain, on increased output of banks and security brokerages.
Construction edges down
Construction edged down 0.1% in July as declines in residential building and non-residential building construction outweighed the increase in engineering construction and repair work.
The output of real estate agents and brokers declined 1.5%, down for a third consecutive month, as activity in the home resale market decreased in July.