Canada's gross domestic product fell 0.2 per cent in November: StatsCan

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada says the country’s gross domestic product declined 0.2 per cent in November compared with the previous month, primarily because of manufacturing and several of the key resource sectors.

The November reading was weaker than expected. Economists had estimated the economy would be flat compared with October, which had reported a 0.3 per cent increase in GDP — the broadest measure of Canada’s economic activity.

The Canadian dollar dropped to new multi-year lows following the monthly announcement, trading at 78.61 cents US — down more than half a cent from the Thursday close.

Statistics Canada says goods production fell 0.8 per cent in November while overall output from service industries was unchanged from October.

Manufacturing output fell 1.9 per cent overall, with declines in both durable goods such as machinery and non-durable goods including chemicals, plastic and rubber products.

In the resource sector, mining and quarrying output fell 2.5 per cent — mainly because of declines in iron ore, potash and coal — while oil and gas extraction was down 0.7 per cent due to a decline in non-conventional oil.

There was also a 3.7 per cent decline in support activities such as drilling rigs for the mining and energy sectors.

Canada’s wholesale trade declined 0.6 per cent in November, on top of a 0.2 per cent decrease in October, while retail trade was up 0.9 per cent — mostly due to clothing and clothing accessories, general merchandise, electronics and appliances.

Construction was unchanged in November, with declines in residential buildings and repairs offsetting increases in non-residential building and engineering.

Utilities increased 2.4 per cent after falling 1.5 per cent in October, due to higher demand for both electricity and natural gas.

The agriculture and forestry sector increased 0.8 per cent in November, mainly the result of higher crop production.