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

November 30, 2018

Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.0 per cent (all figures seasonally adjusted at annual rates) in Canada in the third quarter, following growth of 2.9 per cent in the second quarter and 1.7 per cent in the first quarter. Final domestic demand was unchanged in the quarter.

Growth in household final consumption slowed to 1.2 per cent in Q3 2018 following growth of 2.3 per cent in the second quarter.  Outlays on durable goods declined 2.7 per cent with lower motor vehicles purchases continuing for a third straight quarter. Spending accelerated on semi-durable goods (+5.9%) and slowed for services (+1.4%).

Non-residential investment in buildings and engineering structures declined 5.2 per cent following six consecutive quarterly gains. Lower investment in the oil and gas sector was a drag on engineering structures. Machinery and equipment had its largest decline since Q3 2016 with a 9.8 per cent decrease from lower investment in aircraft and other transportation equipment, industrial machinery, and furniture, fixtures and prefabricated structures.

Residential investment declined 5.9 per cent in the third quarter with new home construction experiencing its largest decrease since Q2 2009. Renovation activity was also down while home ownership transfer costs increased after two quarters of declines.


Exports were up 0.9 per cent after growth of 13.0 per cent in the second quarter. Export shipments were up for metal ores and non-metallic minerals after work stoppages in the second quarter. Imports were down 7.8 per cent in Q3 with petroleum imports declining with the resumption of domestic production following the completion of maintenance at Canadian refineries. Lower imports were also reported for transportation equipment and parts, and commercial and travel services.

Inventories accumulation slowed from $13.2 billion in Q2 to $6.9 billion in the third quarter. There was reduction in motor vehicle inventory among retailers. Manufacturers and wholesalers continued to build inventory.

The overall price level of goods and services produced in Canada (the GDP implicit price index) increased 3.0 per cent in the third quarter after rising 1.5 per cent in Q2 2018. Nominal GDP increased 5.0 per cent in the quarter. On an annualized basis, compensation of employees increased 2.7 per cent and corporate net operating surplus was up 19.0 per cent with strength in the mining and petroleum refining industries lifting corporate earnings. The household saving rate fell to 0.8 per cent compared to 1.0 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 and 2.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.

Source: Statistics Canada Tables 36-10-0103-01 and 36-10-0104-01

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