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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

November 22, 2018

Canadian corporations earned $107.5 billion in operating profits (seasonally adjusted) in the third quarter of 2018 - an increase of 3.9 per cent compared to the previous quarter. Compared to Q3 2017, operating profits were up 5.6 per cent.   Since the most recent trough in the second quarter of 2016, Canadian corporate operating provices have increased by over $33 billion.

The non-financial sector operating profits (seasonally adjusted) were up 1.0 per cent to $69.9 billion in the third quarter with gains in 11 of the 17 non-financial industries.  Wholesale trade profits were up, led by machinery/equipment wholesalers.  Retail trade profits declined on falling motor vehicle sales.  Manufacturing profits declined slightly on lower wood/paper profits caused by lower lumber prices and production disruptions due to Western Canada's wildfires.  These declines in manufacturing profits were partially offset by petroleum refineries, which reported large profit gains as they rebounded from shutdowns in the second quarter.  

Financial industry profits rose $3.3 billion in the third quarter.  Depository credit intermediation profits slipped on declines from local credit unions, though banking profits were up.  Rising profits at insurance carriers were the main source of rising financial sector profits in Q3.

Comparing the first three quarters of 2018 with the same period of 2017, operating profits increased 8.7 per cent (+$25 billion). For the non-financial industries, an increase of 8.5 per cent (+$16.2 billion) resulted from increases in 13 of 17 subsectors. The largest dollar increases came from manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, and wholesale trade. Financial sector profits were up 9.1 per cent (+$8.8 billion) with higher profits among most sectors.

Canada's oil and gas extraction/support sectors have now reported positive profits in each of the last four quarters, after reporting losses in each quarter from 2015 Q1 to 2017 Q3.  After falling from quarter profits of $6 billion in early 2014 to losses of $5.4 billion by early 2016, oil and gas sector profits have recovered to $0.7 billion in the most recent quarter.


Source: Quarterly financial statistics for enterprises; Table  33-10-0008-01   Quarterly statement of changes in financial position and selected financial ratios, by industry

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