Posted July 2, 2009

Real gross domestic product declined 0.1% in April.

Statscan - This follows decreases of 0.3% in March and 0.1% in February, and more pronounced declines between November 2008 and January 2009.

Declines in manufacturing, the energy sector and retail trade were the main contributors to the April decrease. Increases in the activities of real estate agents and brokers and wholesale trade mitigated the drop.

Manufacturing output falls

The declines in manufacturing (-1.0%) were widespread, with 15 of the 21 major groups contracting. Both durable (-0.4%) and non-durable goods (-1.8%) manufacturing retreated. In particular, the manufacturing of primary metal, petroleum and coal, food, paper and wood products all posted significant drops. Foreign demand remained weak. However, motor vehicle and parts, along with computer and electronic product manufacturing, advanced.

Energy sector output retreats

The output of the energy sector retreated 0.5% in April. Significant declines in natural gas extraction, refining, coal mining, and pipeline transportation drew the sector down. Storage levels of natural gas in Canada and the United States remained high, while the price of natural gas declined to a level below those recorded at the end of 2007.

Although there was a significant rebound in support activities for oil and gas extraction in April, this industry continued to operate at a low level. Electricity generation and the distribution of natural gas were both up in the month.

The output of the mining sector excluding oil and gas extraction decreased 3.5% in April. This was essentially attributable to reductions in the output of potash mines and other non-metallic mineral mines (which include diamond).

Retail trade decreases while wholesaling activity increases

Value added in retail trade fell 0.6% in April, as the volume of activities at food and beverage stores and new and used car dealers declined.

The volume of wholesaling activities increased 0.5% in April. The most notable advances were in the wholesaling of grains, food, beverage and tobacco products, and personal and household goods.

Construction activity slips but sales of existing homes continue to rebound

Construction activity slipped 0.1% in April. A reduction in residential building construction eclipsed the increases in non-residential building construction and in engineering and repair work.

Residential building construction fell 1.1%, with all categories of dwellings posting declines. In non-residential building construction (+1.2%), an increase in institutional and commercial buildings construction outweighed the modest retreat in industrial buildings.

The home resale market continued to post healthy gains, resulting in substantial increases in the output of real estate agents and brokers, which advanced 8.2% in April, leading to a 28% gain since January. Despite this large gain over the previous three months, activity in this industry was still 6% below its September 2008 peak.
Rebound in the activities of real estate agents and brokers

The finance and insurance sector essentially unchanged

The finance and insurance sector was essentially unchanged in April. The gain in mutual fund sales was partially offset by a fall in the volume of trading on the stock exchanges. Furthermore, residential mortgage loans went up significantly on the strength of the home resale market.
Main industrial sectors' contribution to the percent change in gross domestic product, April 2009

1.Millions of chained (2002) dollars, seasonally adjusted at annual rates.

Note to readers

The monthly gross domestic product (GDP) by industry data at basic prices are chained volume estimates with 2002 as their reference year. This means that the data for each industry and aggregate are obtained from a chained volume index multiplied by the industry's value added in 2002. For the 1997 to 2005 period, the monthly data are benchmarked to annually chained Fisher volume indexes of GDP obtained from the constant-price input-output tables.

For the period starting with January 2006, the data are derived by chaining a fixed-weight Laspeyres volume index to the prior period. The fixed weights are the industry output and input prices of 2005. This makes the monthly GDP by industry data more comparable with the expenditure-based GDP data, chained quarterly.


With this release of monthly GDP by industry, revisions have been made back to January 2008. For more information about monthly GDP by industry, see the National Economic Accounts module on our website (

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