Canadian Manufacturing

Manufacturing, mining led surprise October GDP growth

Statistics Canada says GDP growth was broad-based, affecting several major sectors of the economy



OTTAWA—Canada’s gross domestic product rose by 0.3 per cent in October, which was above expectations.

Statistics Canada says the growth was broad-based, affecting several major sectors of the economy—especially oil and gas extraction, mining and manufacturing. That was partly offset by weakness in agriculture and forestry sector and utilities.

Economists had estimated the Canadian economy would grow by 0.1 per cent during the month, following September’s growth of 0.4 per cent.

CIBC economist Avery Shenfeld writes that a 0.7 per cent gain in manufacturing was an unexpected contributor and suggested that Canada’s economic growth in the final quarter of 2014 could be better than expected.

“While we don’t see the resource strength lasting into the new year, for now, there’s room for the economy to eclipse our 2.5 per cent Q4 forecast,” Shenfeld wrote in a brief note.

He added that the Canadian dollar would be supported by unexpected fourth-quarter strength but added that “expectations for 2015 don’t look as rosy in light of the energy price decline.”

The Canadian dollar was down slightly after the report at 85.75 cents US.

Statistics Canada’s monthly report on GDP said overall goods production in October was up 0.4 per cent from September while output from service industries rose 0.3 per cent.

The oil and gas extraction sector grew 1.5 per cent in October, on top of a 3.6 per cent increase in September. Mining and quarrying also rose by 1.5 per cent, with advances in potash more than offsetting declines in copper, nickel, lead and zinc.

Among the sectors showing declines in October was wholesale trade, which declined 0.2 per cent from while retail trade was flat overall in October compared with the previous month.

There was also a 1.8 per cent decline in the utilities industry as demand for electricity and natural gas fell, while the agriculture and forestry sector decreased 1.4 per cent—mainly because of lower crop production.

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