Manufacturing, construction, real estate push GDP up in January

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Canada’s gross domestic product, which tracks broad activity in the economy, rose 0.7% in January from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 1.95 trillion Canadian dollars, or the equivalent of about $1.54 trillion.

In the previous month, GDP rose 0.1% on a month-over-month basis. January’s 0.7% advance exceeded the data agency’s previous estimate for a 0.5% increase in the month.

Statistics Canada said on Wednesday its advance estimate for February suggests a 0.5% month-over-month GDP increase.

Analysts said that likely points to annualized growth of more than 5% in the first quarter, well ahead of the Bank of Canada’s January projection, which had called for a decline.

The agency’s preliminary estimate for February this year shows a growth of 0.5 percent for the month.

For January, manufacturing, construction, and real estate all contributed to economic growth.

The manufacturing sector expanded 1.9 percent in January, offsetting a 0.7 percent contraction in December.

Accommodation and food services declined 3.0% in January, following a 6.7% decrease in December, as both food services and drinking places (-3.1%) and accommodation services (-2.7%) were down, affected by measures aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Transportation declined 0.7% in January as a majority of industries were down. A drop in urban transit systems (-28.0%) contributed the most to the decrease as lockdown restrictions across the country dampened the demand for such services. Truck transportation (-1.4%) and postal services and couriers and messengers (-2.4%) also posted notable declines in the month, while rail transportation (+3.7%), supports activities for transportation (+0.9%), and pipeline transportation (+1.0%) were up.

Utilities contracted 0.8% in January, as lower electric power generation, transmission and distribution (-0.9%) and natural gas distribution (-0.2%) contributed to the decline.

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