Canada’s GDP decreased 0.1% in the first quarter
Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 0.1% in the first quarter, following growth of 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2014. This was the first negative growth rate of real GDP since the second quarter of 2011. On a monthly basis, real GDP by industry fell 0.2% in March.
Final domestic demand fell 0.4% after increasing 0.4% in the previous quarter.
Business gross capital formation was down 2.5%, driven by a 4.1% decrease in non-residential structures and machinery and equipment. On the other hand, business investment in residential structures was up 1.0%, led by an increase in new home construction.
Household final consumption expenditure rose 0.1%, the smallest gain since the second quarter of 2012. Increased outlays on semi-durable and non-durable goods more than offset decreased spending on durable goods. Growth in expenditures on services slowed to 0.1%.
Government final consumption expenditure was 0.2% lower.
Businesses added $11.6 billion to their inventories in the first quarter, up from $8.5 billion in the previous quarter. Wholesalers increased their inventories of durable goods by $7.1 billion.
Exports of goods and services decreased 0.3%, following a 0.4% decline in the previous quarter. Exports of goods declined 0.5%, while services increased 0.8%. Imports of goods and services fell 0.4%.
The value added of goods-producing industries decreased 1.0% in the first quarter, while that of service industries rose 0.2%.
The mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector posted a notable decrease in the first quarter, as a result of a 30% decline in support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction. Construction, wholesale trade and manufacturing posted notable declines as well. There were also decreases in accommodation and food services, transportation and warehousing services and in the output of real estate agents and brokers. On the other hand, the finance and insurance sector, utilities as well as the agriculture and forestry sector increased in the first quarter. The public sector and professional services also advanced.