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Manufacturing drives the Canadian economy to a strong finish in 2014

Published by Brad Fougere on March 03, 2015

The manufacturing sector almost singlehandedly drove GDP higher in December, helping the Canadian economy end the year on a positive note. Real GDP grew by 0.3 per cent to close out the year, helping to erase the memory of a 0.2 per cent contraction the previous month.

For the year as a whole, the Canadian economy expanded by 2.4 per cent. While unspectacular, that rate of annual growth is the best Canada has seen since 2011.

December’s healthy gains depended heavily on the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing GDP soared in December, rising by 2.5 per cent in a single month – more than the Canadian economy grew all year. In fact, the manufacturing sector accounted for four fifths of total Canadian GDP growth in December. Without our manufacturers, the economy would have grown by less than 0.1 per cent that month.

This surge was welcome news for Canadian manufacturers, who had seen flat or declining GDP numbers in three of the previous four months.

Thanks in large part to December’s gains, 2014 ended up being a good year for manufacturing in Canada. For the year as whole, manufacturing GDP rose by 2.9 per cent in 2014 – its strongest showing since 2011 and one of the best years in the past decade.

The surge in GDP in December was distributed all across Canada’s manufacturing sub-sectors. Leading the way was machinery production, which jumped by 5.9 per cent month-over-month.

Chemicals producers (4.4 per cent) and motor vehicles producers (3.6 per cent) also posted strong gains to close out the year.

For the year as a whole, every major manufacturing sub-sector enjoyed positive GDP growth, with the sole exception of petroleum refining, where annual GDP fell by 0.6 per cent. 2014 was an especially good year for aerospace producers, who saw a 6.7 per cent increase in GDP over the previous year. The motor vehicles sector (5.6 per cent) and food products sector (5.1 per cent) were also among Canada’s fastest-growing manufacturing groups in 2014.


Found in: StatsCan

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