Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.7% in March, following a 0.9% expansion in February. Broad-based increases across most sectors were led by client-facing industries.
Both services-producing (+0.6%) and goods-producing (+0.9%) industries were up, as 14 of 20 industrial sectors expanded in March.
Strength in manufacturing continues
Manufacturing rose 0.9% in March, surpassing the February 2020 pre-pandemic level of activity. Increases in both durable and non-durable goods manufacturing contributed to the sixth consecutive monthly expansion in the sector.
Durable goods manufacturing grew 1.2% in March as 6 of 10 subsectors were up. Transportation equipment manufacturing contributed the most to the growth as activity at motor vehicle (+8.8%) and motor vehicle parts (+6.7%) plants was less affected by the semiconductor chip related shortages in March. Primary metal manufacturing was down 1.5%, however, offsetting some of the growth.
The March numbers contributed to a strong first quarter performance for the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing GDP rose 1.9% in the first quarter of 2022, with transportation equipment manufacturing driving the gains for a second quarter in a row. Motor vehicle and parts manufacturing led growth as supply-chain issues and semi-conductor shortages abated in the Canadian market in the second half of the quarter and exports rose. Other transportation equipment manufacturing also grew strongly in the quarter.