Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.2 percent in May, fueled by a recovery in manufacturing, Statistics Canada reported on July 31. Auto manufacturing jumped by 5.7 percent as production levels returned to normal.
Increases of 5.4 percent in rail and 1.2 percent in trucking led to an overall 1 percent growth in the transportation and warehousing sector.
May capped the strongest three months for Canada’s economy in two years, suggesting that that it has shaken off the weakness of late 2018 and early 2019.
“Three solid monthly GDP reports underscore both the strength of the recovery following the weak start to the year, as well as its temporary nature. ”Brian DePratto, Senior Economist at TD Bank
“Three solid monthly GDP reports underscore both the strength of the recovery following the weak start to the year, as well as its temporary nature,” Brian DePratto, Senior Economist at TD Bank, wrote.
Strength in rail was representative of the recovery from Ferbrary, which saw a nearly 11 percent decline. Coal, petroleum, chemicals, metals, minerals and cars all pushed up rail volumes, Statistics Canada said.
The recovery could be seen in the Canadian National’s (NYSE:CNI) second quarter earnings, which were reported on July 23. The company noted it hauled higher volumes of grain and petroleum.
Statistics Canada did not provide an explanation for May’s growth in the trucking industry.
The growth played out in hiring in the transportation and warehouse industry, which increased by 1.2 percent in June, according to federal employment numbers.
Commenting on the June employment data, TD economist Fotios Raptis noted that “transportation and warehousing grow in tandem” with the Canadian economy.
The May GDP report slowed growth in 13 of 20 sectors. Apart from manufacturing, construction also helped boost the economy. Weakness appeared in wholesale trade, mining and oil and gas extraction, and retail.