Real gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada edged up 0.1 per cent in July, after a similar increase in June (0.1 per cent) but growth in goods-producing industries (0.5 per cent) was partially offset by a decline in services-producing industries (0.1 per cent), with 11 of 20 industrial sectors increasing during the month, reported Statistics Canada on Thursday.
“Advance information indicates that real GDP was essentially unchanged in August. Increases in retail and wholesale trade, as well as in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting were offset by decreases in manufacturing and oil and gas extraction,” said the federal agency.
The report found that the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector expanded 1.9 per cent in July, following slight declines in the previous two months, with growth in all three subsectors.
“Oil sands extraction (+5.1 per cent) increased strongly in July, following decreases in the previous two months. An increase of synthetic oil production coupled with a record level of production of marketable crude bitumen in Alberta contributed the most to growth. Oil sands output increased following maintenance turnarounds at facilities in the second quarter of 2022, which constrained production leading up to July,” said StatsCan.
“Oil and gas extraction (except oil sands) was down 0.5 per cent in July, as a decline in crude petroleum extraction more than offset an increase in natural gas extraction. Crude petroleum was down for the first time in five months, while natural gas production was up for the sixth month in a row.
“Non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying increased 2.0%, reaching its highest level of output since July 2020, led by potash mining (+3.2%) for which both production and export volumes have exhibited an upward trend over the last five quarters.”
The federal agency said the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector rose 3.2 per cent in July, driven by an increase in crop production. Crop production (except cannabis) expanded 7.2 per cent, driven mainly by an increase in volumes of other grains and wheat.
It said the manufacturing sector contracted 0.5 per cent in July, the third decline in four months, as an increase in non-durable goods manufacturing was more than offset by a decrease in durable goods manufacturing.
Statistics Canada added that the retail trade sector contracted 1.9 per cent in July, falling to the lowest level since December 2021, as 10 of 12 subsectors decreased. Output at gasoline stations dropped 7.1 per cent in July, down for a third consecutive month, in spite of declines in gasoline prices amid downward pressure from ongoing concerns related to slower global economic growth and lower global demand for crude oil. Food and beverage stores contracted 1.8 per cent in July, down for the second consecutive month. Accommodation and food services contracted 1.0 per cent in July, the first decline since January, when the sector’s activity level dropped as a result of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
(Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran of the media industry for more than 40 years and named in 2021 a Top Ten Business Journalist in the world and only Canadian)
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