Oil/gas extraction sectors decline stalls economic growth

Real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged during July

After four months of growth, Canada’s overall economy seems to have taken a breather in July as the oil and gas extraction sector declined.

According to a report released on Tuesday by Statistics Canada, real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged during the month.

The federal agency said goods-producing industries were down 0.7 per cent in July as output from all subsectors declined, with the exception of utilities. Services-producing industries were up for the fifth consecutive month, rising 0.3 per cent as the majority of subsectors grew.

“On a three-month rolling average basis, real gross domestic product increased 0.8 per cent, the same growth rate as in June,” explained StatsCan.

It said the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector contracted 3.5 per cent in July, as activity across all subsectors declined. This was the largest decrease in the sector since May 2016.

“Oil and gas extraction contracted 3.0 per cent in July. Following four months of growth, oil and gas extraction (except oil sands) was down 4.7 per cent, the largest monthly decline in a decade, as both natural gas and oil extraction were down. A major factor in the decline was the shutdown of some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore production facilities for a large part of the month as a result of maintenance issues. Oil sands extraction was down 1.0 per cent, as it continued the sequence of expansions and contractions observed over the course of the last four months,” said the federal agency.

“Following three consecutive months of growth, support activities for mining, oil and gas extraction dropped 11.5 per cent, the largest decrease since December 2018, as a continued contraction in drilling services and lower rigging services both contributed to the drop. Mining and quarrying, excluding oil and gas extraction, edged down 0.1 per cent as declines in metal ore mining (-0.4 per cent) and non-metallic minerals mining (-0.6 per cent) were partly offset by a 5.3 per cent increase in coal mining.”

The construction sector contracted 0.7 per cent  in July and manufacturing edged down 0.1 per cent.

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