Issue 18-99 Gross Domestic Product, 1st Quarter 2018

June 1, 2018

The Canadian economy continued to expand in the first quarter of 2018, with real GDP advancing 0.3% (seasonally adjusted) following a 0.4% increase in the last quarter of 2017. 

Final domestic demand (household, business and government spending on goods and services, +0.5%) continued to grow, but at a slower pace than in the previous quarter (+1.0%). Overall, business and government spending on fixed capital formation was up 1.0%, posting a fifth straight quarterly increase. Business investment rose 0.9%, with solid growth attributable to spending on machinery & equipment (+4.2%), intellectual property products (+3.3%) and non-residential structures (+1.5%). However, investment in residential structures was down 1.9% as ownership transfer costs (-13.5%) fell sharply due to a slowdown in resale activity. Government investment in fixed capital increased 1.6% in the first quarter.

Household spending rose 0.3%, while government final consumption expenditures increased 0.7%.

Exports of goods and services were up 0.4%, well below the 1.0% increase posted in the fourth quarter of 2017, while imports rose (+1.2%) for a fifth consecutive quarter.

In the first quarter, wholesalers (+$5.4 billion), manufacturers (+$4.0 billion) and retailers (+$2.6 billion) all added to their inventories. Farm inventories increased $567 million, compared with an accumulation of $2.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017. Overall the value of inventories rose $15.2 billion.

Source: Statistics Canada