Real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 4.5 per cent in May after falling off a cliff when emergency measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 resulted in widespread shutdowns.
In May, provinces and territories started reopening sectors of their economies to varying degrees. While May’s gains offset some of the March and April declines, economic activity remained 15 per cent below February’s pre-pandemic level.
Preliminary information indicates an approximate 5 per cent increase in real GDP for June. Output across several industrial sectors, including manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, construction, transportation, accommodation and food services, and the public sector, increased.
The manufacturing sector rose 7.4 per cent in May following a 22.4 per cent decline in April. Durable manufacturing rose 11.2 per cent, as 8 of the 10 subsectors increased. The transportation equipment manufacturing subsector (+30.5 per cent) contributed the most to the growth, as all industries except aerospace products and parts manufacturing (-5.1 per cent) were up. Miscellaneous transportation manufacturing was up 49.6 per cent, fully offsetting the previous two monthly declines. The fabricated metal products (+9.1 per cent) and furniture and related products (+42.5 per cent) manufacturing sectors were up, while declines in machinery (-10.3 per cent) and primary metal (-0.4 per cent) manufacturing offset some of the growth.
Non-durable manufacturing rose 4 per cent, as seven of the nine subsectors grew. Petroleum and coal products manufacturing (+14.4 per cent) led the growth and refineries (+13.3 per cent) ramped up production. Plastic and rubber products (+16.7 per cent) and beverage and tobacco manufacturing (+18.0 per cent) were also up, while paper (-7.5 per cent) and food manufacturing (-3.0 per cent) declined.