Higher oil and gas extraction pushes up August GDP

Mike Edwards   

News mining natural gas Statistics Canada

Real gross domestic product rose for a seventh consecutive month, edging up 0.1% in August, according Statistics Canada. Growth was concentrated in oil and gas extraction and finance and insurance, which more than offset declines in 12 of 20 industrial sectors.

The output of services-producing industries edged up 0.1%, while output was essentially unchanged for goods-producing industries.

The mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction sector posted the largest increase in activity in August, rising 0.9% to nearly offset the declines in the two previous months.
The oil and gas extraction subsector was up 1.9%, led by a 3.2% rise in non-conventional oil extraction as crude bitumen and total crude production in Alberta reached record levels.

Conventional oil and gas extraction (+0.8%) was up for the third month in a row, largely as a result of growth in natural gas extraction.

Mining and quarrying excluding oil and gas extraction was down 1.8% in August following three months of growth. Metal ore mining fell 5.9% as the majority of industries contracted. Contributing the most to the decline was a 13.7% drop in copper, nickel, lead and zinc mining, with the industry’s output contracting for the 11th time in 12 months as some producers continued to adjust their production levels.

Mine output for copper and nickel for August was at its lowest level since the beginning of 2010. Non-metallic mineral mining rose 2.9% as all industries expanded in August, led by an export-driven 3.4% expansion in potash mining. Coal mining edged up 0.1%.

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