Real gross domestic product rose 0.3% in April, led by growth in goods-producing industries

Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.3% in April, following a 0.7% expansion in March, led by the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector and client-facing industries. Both goods-producing (+0.9%) and services-producing (+0.1%) industries were up, as 13 of 20 industrial sectors expanded in April.

Advance information indicates that real GDP decreased 0.2% in May. Output was down in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, manufacturing and construction sectors. An increase was recorded in the transportation and warehousing sector. Owing to its preliminary nature, this estimate will be updated on July 29 with the release of the official GDP data for May.

The transportation and warehousing sector expands

The transportation and warehousing sector rose 2.2% in April, up for a third month in a row, as 8 of 10 subsectors were up. Air transportation expanded 20.0% in April as airlines continued carrying more goods and passengers, as demand for air travel grew for the third month in a row.

Transit, ground passenger, and scenic and sightseeing transportation expanded 6.6% in April, up for the third month in a row, benefitting from an increase in public transit ridership. Rail transportation rose 3.6%, up for the third time in four months. Higher rail movement of petroleum, chemicals, metals and minerals products along with coal and intermodal freight contributed towards the growth in April. Postal services contracted 1.8% in April, down for the second time in three months.

Retail trade rebounds

Retail trade rose 0.9% in April, more than offsetting the previous two months of decline, as 7 of 12 subsectors were up. General merchandise (+4.5%) and miscellaneous retailing (+9.5%) led the growth, while activity at gasoline stations also rose (+5.3%) as domestic travel along with a gradual return to work in offices contributed towards the increased demand at the pumps. Clothing and clothing accessories stores rose 1.7%, pushed up by a higher demand at jewellery, luggage and leather goods stores, driven by travel accessory sales such as luggage.

Building material and supplies retailing declined 4.8% in April, its first decline in four months, but activity levels remain high. Motor vehicle and parts retailing contracted for the third month in a row, down 0.8% in April, as continued lack of inventory suppressed the activity at new cars dealers and automotive parts and accessories stores.

Manufacturing keeps growing

The manufacturing sector increased 0.3% in April, a seventh consecutive monthly growth, as higher durable-goods manufacturing offset a decrease in non-durable-goods manufacturing. Durable-goods manufacturing grew 0.8% in April, with 7 of 10 subsectors posting increases.

Non-durable-goods manufacturing edged down 0.2% in April, driven by a decrease in chemical manufacturing and a contraction in plastics and rubber products manufacturing. Higher petroleum and coal product manufacturing and beverage and tobacco manufacturing offset some of the declines.

Source: Statistics Canada