Canada GDP in August registers first fall since December

Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:50am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - A drop in oil and gas output affected by maintenance, combined with a fall in manufacturing, helped push the Canadian economy in August to its first decline since December, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

The 0.1 percent fall in real gross domestic product came on the heels of no increase in July. If September stays at August's level, the third quarter will nonetheless show 1.4 percent annualized growth over the second quarter, which had benefited from substantial monthly rises in May and June. The Bank of Canada last week estimated 2.3 percent third-quarter growth.

The median forecast in a Reuters survey of analysts was for no change in August GDP. Year-on-year, GDP was 2.2 percent higher in August and 2.5 percent higher in July.

Oil and gas extraction fell 2.5 percent in August from the month before after a 1.6 percent decline in July.

"Oil and gas production in August was affected by maintenance activities," Statistics Canada said. "Oil and gas extraction remains at a high level, having increased in seven of the eight months prior to the July and August declines."

Manufacturing declined by 1.2 percent after rising for three months. While goods production fell 1.0 percent, the output of service industries was 0.2 percent higher.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Construction workers work on building new homes in Calgary, Alberta, May 31, 2010. 
 REUTERS/Todd Korol