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Canadian economy begins the year on a weak note; manufacturing gives back some of December’s gain

Published by Brad Fougere on March 31, 2015

Manufacturing GDP notes – January 2015

The Canadian economy begins the year on a weak note; manufacturing gives back some of December’s gains

After ending 2014 on a strong note, the Canadian economy dipped into negative territory to start the year. National GDP contracted by 0.1 per cent in January, marking the second time in the past three months of below-zero GDP growth.

While the manufacturing sector dramatically outperformed the Canadian economy as a whole in December, the same was not true in January. GDP in manufacturing fell by 0.7 per cent in January, with the losses evenly split between producers of durable- and non-durable goods. However, this decrease was by no means the weakest performance in the Canadian economy in January as the hospitality, transportation and wholesale/retail trade sectors were all sharply lower.

In spite of a weak January, manufacturing has been one of the country’s strongest-performing sectors over the past year. Compared to January 2014, GDP in manufacturing is up 4.4 per cent. Only resource-extracting industries have recorded faster growth over the 12-month period.

The drop in manufacturing GDP in January was distributed across most of Canada’s major manufacturing sub-sectors, but concentrated in those same industries which had recorded the largest increases in December. In all cases, however, the losses in January were not enough to erase the gains made the previous month. Machinery production – which had surged by 7.9 per cent in December – gave back most of those gains, recording a 5.0 per cent decrease in GDP in January. Similarly, motor vehicles producers felt a 3.5 per cent decrease in value-added activity, after enjoying a 4.3 per cent jump in December. For their part, chemicals producers saw a drop in GDP of 2.1 per cent in January, following a gain of 3.1 per cent.

Of Canada’s major manufacturing sub-sectors, only fabricated metals production saw positive growth in January, posting a month-over-month gain of 1.2 per cent. However, many of the country’s smaller producers started the year off on the right foot. Producers of computers and electronics (4.3 per cent growth), non-metallic mineral products (4.0 per cent) and beverages (3.7 per cent) all recorded strong growth in January.



Found in: StatsCan

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