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Alexander Chute Economist
Tel: 902-424-5810Email:

March 02, 2018

Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.7 per cent (all figures seasonally adjusted at annual rates) in Canada in the fourth quarter, following on 1.5 per cent and 4.4 per cent in the previous two quarters. Final domestic demand was up a similar pace of 3.9 per cent.


Growth in household final consumption slowed to 2.1 per cent in Q4 compared to 3.7 per cent in Q3 and 4.6 per cent in Q2. Service expenditure growth slowed from 5.7 per cent in Q3 to 2.5 per cent in Q4. Vehicle purchases were flat.

Residential structures increased 13.4 per cent after small declines the previous two quarters. Ownership transfers costs were up indicating increased resale activity ahead of new mortgage stress test measures anticipated for 2018. New housing activity was also up. Non-residential structures increased 5.4 per cent on investments in engineering structures. Machinery and equipment (+12.6%) continue with growth while intellectual property products growth slowed (+0.2%) on decline in mineral exploration and evaluation.

Exports of goods increased 2.5 per cent after a 12.8 per cent decline the previous quarter. Gains were led by basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products. Forestry products, and building and packaging material and motor vehicle and parts were also up. Exports of services grew for eighth consecutive quarter, mainly on travel services. Imports were up 6.3 per cent with gains in aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts and electronic and electrical equipment and parts.

Inventories continued to accumulate with Canadian businesses adding $14.2 billion in inventories. Retailers added $4.8 billion to stock with half consisting of motor vehicles.

The overall price level of goods and services produced in Canada (the GDP implicit price index) was increased 5.0 per cent in the fourth quarter after being unchanged in the third quarter of 2017. Canada's terms of trade improved with an increase in energy product prices. Nominal GDP increased 6.5 per cent in the quarter. On an annualized basis, compensation of employees increased 6.1 per cent and corporate net operating surplus was up 15.0 per cent after two quarters of decline.


CANSIM Table 380-0064

CANSIM Table 380-0063

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