Statistics Canada (StatsCan) reported today (5-31-22) that 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.
Advance information indicates that real GDP increased 0.2% in April. Output was up in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas, transportation and warehousing, and wholesale trade sectors. Notable decreases were recorded in the real estate and rental and leasing, finance and insurance, manufacturing, and construction sectors. Owing to its preliminary nature, this estimate will be updated on June 30 with the release of the official GDP data for April.
Of note, the construction sector rose 1.2% in March, with output surpassing April 2021 to reach an all-time high and all subsectors contributing to the growth. In March, residential building construction (+1.8%) led the growth for the third month in a row, with home alterations and improvements and construction of single-detached homes contributing the most to the increase during the month.
Non-residential building construction rose 0.9% in March, up for the ninth consecutive month. All construction activities posted gains with commercial building construction contributing the most to the increase, driven in part by a retail development in Mount Royal, Quebec.
Engineering and other construction activities increased 0.6% in March, continuing an upward trend that began at the end of 2020, but still remains -1.9% below February 2020’s pre-pandemic level of activity. Repair construction rose 1.2% in March 2022, up for the seventh time in eight months, as both the residential and non-residential segments expanded.
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