The Canadian economy contracted by 0.2 percent in March, from the previous decline of 0.1 percent in February, Statistics Canada said in a report released on Tuesday. The decline in March was as a result of the weak output from industries such as mining, quarrying, oil and gas extraction and retail trade.
The mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector was the main reason for a 0.8 percent decline in Production of goods-producing industries, not excluding slump in the manufacturing and agriculture and forestry sector. Production rose in construction, while utilities were essentially unchanged.
The output of service-producing industries was essentially unchanged in March. Notable drops in retail trade and, to a lesser extent, the transportation and warehousing sector were offset by small gains in several service industries. Wholesale trade was also down, while the public sector (education, health and public administration combined) edged up.
Retail trade contracted 1.3 percent in March, following two consecutive monthly increases. The decline was widespread across all types of retailers. The most significant contributor to the decline was a 3.9% decrease at motor vehicles and parts dealers, which had peaked in February.
Wholesale trade decreased 0.3% in March. Output declined for miscellaneous wholesalers (including wholesalers of agricultural supplies) and wholesalers of farm products. Lower exports resulted in lower output from motor vehicles and parts wholesalers. Output rose for wholesalers of machinery, equipment and supplies, petroleum products, and food, beverage and tobacco.