Industry comeback continues as GDP ticked up in January
- March 31, 2021
This ninth consecutive monthly increase offset the steepest drops on record in Canadian economic activity observed in March and April 2020, however total economic activity was about 3 per cent below the February level before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The manufacturing sector expanded 1.9 per cent in January, offsetting its 0.7 per cent contraction in December. Increases in sales and inventory contributed to higher production.
Durable manufacturing was up 2.9 per cent, the largest growth rate since August 2020, with increases across all subsectors. Leading the growth were fabricated metal product (+4.7 per cent) and machinery (+4.4 per cent) manufacturing. Wood product manufacturing rose 4.1 per cent. The transportation equipment manufacturing subsector was unchanged (0.0 per cent) in January as a 10.7 per cent decline in the motor vehicle manufacturing industry was fully offset by gains in all the other industries within the subsector. Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing contracted 6.6 per cent.
Non-durable manufacturing increased 0.7 per cent, its fourth increase in five months. Plastics and rubber products (+8.7 per cent) led the way, with growth in chemical (+0.8 per cent), and food (+0.4 per cent) manufacturing, while paper manufacturing (-2.7 per cent), printing and related support activities (-5.4 per cent), and petroleum and coal product manufacturing (-1.8 per cent) declined.
Wholesale trade grows
Wholesale trade was up 3.9 per cent in January, more than offsetting a 1.5 per cent contraction in December. Eight of nine subsectors contributed to the growth, led by machinery, equipment and supplies wholesaling (+8.2 per cent), as higher imports of all types of machinery contributed to increases in the subsector.
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction continues growing
The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector grew 2.7 per cent in January, a fifth consecutive monthly increase, as all three subsectors expanded.
Oil sands extraction grew 2.7 per cent as production increases continue. Oil and gas extraction (except oil sands) rose 1.3 per cent as both oil extraction and natural gas extraction were up. Support activities for mining, and oil and gas extraction grew 5.1 per cent, led by higher drilling and rigging services.
The mining and quarrying (except oil and gas) subsector was up for a third month in a row, rising 3 per cent in January, as most of the mining industries increased. Metal ore mining rose 5 per cent, as iron ore (+13.1 per cent) and copper, nickel, lead and zinc ore (+4.4 per cent) mining increased, driven by higher international demand for these commodities. Non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying contracted 2.0 per cent, mainly as a result of a decline in potash mining (-6.6 per cent). Coal mining grew 5.0 per cent, up for an eighth consecutive month.