Canadian Manufacturing

Canadian economy contracts for fifth consecutive month

Output continues to slide as experts spar over question of recession

The Canadian economy continues to sputter as experts spar over whether the country has slipped into a recession. PHOTO: abdallahh via Wikimedia Commons

The Canadian economy continues to sputter, declining 0.2 per cent in May. Manufacturing output shrank 1.7 per cent. PHOTO: abdallahh via Wikimedia Commons

OTTAWA—Canada’s real gross domestic product fell again in May, this time by 0.2 per cent, marking its fifth consecutive monthly decline, according to Statistics Canada.

“The decline in May was mostly a result of contractions in manufacturing, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction as well as wholesale trade,” the agency said.

There was little positive news from May figures though, as the output of goods-producing industries fell 0.6 per cent, notching their fifth consecutive decline. And after posting gains from February through April, service-providing industries declined 0.1 per cent in May. Statistics Canada noted notable drops in wholesale trade output, the public sector, the finance sector, professional services as well as transportation and warehousing services.

Retail trade, accommodation and food services, construction, as well as the agriculture and forestry sector were the lone winners.

Following no growth in April, manufacturing output contracted 1.7 per cent overall in May.

Leading that decline, durable-goods manufacturing fell 2.4 per cent. But Statistics Canada noted drops almost across the board. Declines were recorded in machinery, computer and electronic products, fabricated metal products and miscellaneous manufacturing. Non-metallic mineral products manufacturing was one area that saw output rise.

Non-durable goods manufacturing was also down in May, falling 0.7 per cent. Statistics Canada said the drop was primarily a result of declines in the manufacturing of food as well as beverage and tobacco. Decreases were also posted in textile, clothing and leather manufacturing, chemical manufacturing as well as printing and related support activities. Petroleum and coal products manufacturing as well as plastic and rubber products, posted modest gains.

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