The energy and manufacturing sectors were the main contributors to May’s decline. Construction and wholesale trade also decreased. Conversely, the activities of real estate agents and brokers as well as retail trade advanced in the month.
Energy sector output drops
The output of the energy sector dropped a further 2.3% in May. Oil and gas extraction as well as associated support activities posted significant declines. Both petroleum and natural gas production were hampered by falling export demand. Maintenance work at some crude petroleum facilities also lowered production. Natural gas storage increased in the month.
The manufacturing sector continued to fall in May (-1.6%). About half of the decrease was due to a 21% drop in motor vehicle manufacturing, following three months of recovery, and an 8.2% decline in parts production.
Construction activity was down 0.7% in May. The declines in residential building construction (-2.4%) and engineering and repair work (-0.2%) outweighed the 0.9% increase in non-residential building construction.
Home resale market increases
The home resale market continued to show upward momentum in May, leading to an 8.2% increase in the output of real estate agents and brokers. The output of this industry returned to the level of May 2008.
Retail trade is up, while wholesaling activity is down
Value added in retail trade was up 0.6% in May as the volume of activities in all retail categories, excluding building and outdoor home supplies, rose. Notable increases were posted by new car dealers, furniture, home furnishings and home electronics, and food and beverage stores.
Finance and insurance essentially unchanged
The output of the finance and insurance sector was essentially unchanged in May. An increase in the activities of securities brokers was offset by declines in insurance services and credit intermediation (lending and banking activities).
The weakness in some sectors of the economy led to a reduction in the output of truck and rail transportation services. Activities in the air transportation industry also declined in May, in parallel with a decline in the number of overnight travellers to Canada.
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