Economy managed slight growth in Q4, but shrank in December

Canada’s economy managed to edge up just  0.2 per cent in the last quarter of 2012, but real GDP by industry shrank in the final month of the year. On a monthly basis, GDP was down 0.2 per cent in December, Statistics Canada reports today. In all, the last six months of 2012 were the weakest since the recession of 2008.

oil-extraction-oilwells-industry-economy-growth-Canada-EDIWeekly
Mining and the oil and gas extraction industries were the main source of industrial growth in the fourth quarter of 2012, Statistics Canada reported today. The economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.6 per cent, but shrank by 0.2 per cent in December.

Annualized, the GDP expanded 0.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, the same pace as in the third quarter. Statistics Canada points out that by comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 0.1 per cent.

In terms of industrial growth, mining, up 0.3 per cent, and the oil and gas extraction industry, up 0.1 per cent, were the main source.

Construction output was also up 0.2 per cent, despite a slight decline in residential building construction.

However, manufacturing production declined 1.8 per cent in December, with widespread declines in both durable and non-durable goods. Motor vehicle manufacturing fell 9.9 per cent, partially because of longer than usual holiday shutdowns. And there were decreases in fabricated metal products, food, furniture and related products, and motor vehicle parts manufacturing.

GDP-Statistics-Canada-Industry-manufacturing-EDIWeekly

Utilities lost 1.9 per cent in December, as both electricity production and natural gas distribution fell.

Exports were up a slight 0.3 per cent, led by farm, fishing and intermediate food products, and energy products. This came after a decline of 1.9 per cent in the third quarter.

Imports, however, were down 0.3 per cent, the first decrease in more than a year. The main contributors to this decline were industrial machinery, equipment and parts; basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products; and motor vehicles and parts.

Imports of aircraft and other transportation equipment rebounded strongly (13.1 per cent) after a drop of 8.1 per cent in the previous quarter.

Business investment in plants and equipment was higher in the fourth quarter. Investment in non-residential structures advanced 1.6 per cent: outlays on both non-residential buildings and engineering structures were up. Business investment in machinery and equipment, however, grew just 0.3 per cent, the third consecutive quarter of weak growth. Industrial machinery and equipment outlays were down, as were investment in medium and heavy trucks, buses and other motor vehicles.

Investment in aircraft and other transportation equipment was notably higher.

Did you miss this?

Other Popular Stories

  • British cheer awarding of train contract to Bombardier
  • Canada will reduce oil and gas industry emissions
  • NASA projects look to the future, and to science fiction
  • Game over for Hydrogen fuel cells? Not really — but an explosion in Norway halts sales of hydrogen fuel cell cars locally
  • Within 10 years, almost 50 percent of retail jobs may disappear to automation
  • Vehicle sales, mainly light trucks, continued to soar in January
  • USC Students Blast Rocket Speed and Height Records
  • Global car sales will set new record in 2014: Scotiabank
  • Modest improvement in manufacturing sector continued in July: RBC
  • Montreal firm to build flight simulators for US Navy
  • Alberta to allow increased production of 25,000 barrels of oil per day in April; eases mandatory production cuts
  • Touchless computer control from Waterloo tech company an early success
  • Acquisition of SABMiller makes Molson Coors third-largest brewer in the world
  • Pros and Cons of EDM: What is electrical discharge machining, and how does it work?
  • Thunder Bay wind farm gets government approval
  • California mandates energy storage to bring more renewables into grid
  • Electric bush plane: combined project of Zenair and Solar Ship combines rugged short landings with green technology
  • SpaceX launches Immarsat 5 F4: continuing the Elon Musk tradition of innovation with commercial payback
  • Slower growth, need for new markets challenge Canada's oil producers
  • Offshore wind costs will fall significantly if development continues: study
Scroll to Top