Natural resources, manufacturing show stronger than expected growth in February

Canada’s economy grew by 0.3 per cent in February, a repeat of January’s growth rate, Statistics Canada reports today. The growth rate was stronger than some analysts had expected and could mean that Bank of Canada projections for the first quarter will have to be revised upwards. The biggest growth industries were mining and the oil and gas extraction sector.

February was the fifth consecutive month showing growth in the natural resources sector, which includes mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. Together, the three components grew by 2.2 per cent, though the biggest growth by far was in the mining sector, where increased activity in potash mines pushed growth by 6.4 per cent. Oil and gas extraction rose by 1.0 per cent, following a decline of 0.2 per cent in January. Support activities for these industries, including drilling and rigging, also grew (1.2 per cent).


Canada’s manufacturers increased their output by 0.8 per cent in February, following a rise of 0.6 per cent in January. Production of transportation equipment, non-metallic mineral products and computers and electronic products rose 0.7 per cent. Non-durable goods production was up 1.0 per cent, with growth in chemical, food, clothing and leather products.

Construction (0.2 per cent), including engineering and repair, and residential and non-residential construction; utilities (0.4 per cent); as well as the agriculture and forestry sector also grew.

Wholesale trade was down 0.2 per cent in February, mainly due to declines in the wholesaling of machinery, equipment and supplies, of personal and household goods and of farm products. These declines outweighed gains in the wholesaling of motor vehicles and parts as well as of food, beverage and tobacco products.

Retail trade. however, edged up 0.1 per cent with increased activity at general merchandise stores and at motor vehicles and parts dealers.

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