GDP: Petro-Rebound Conceals Underlying Problems

The main story in today’s GDP numbers is that the oil, gas and mining industries rebounded sharply in April after being hobbled by temporary maintenance and production difficulties in February and March. While the upswing in fossil-fuel and mineral extraction was large enough to boost the overall economy, other key sectors showed signs of weakness.

Manufacturing looked like a bright spot in recent months. However, Statistics Canada’s revision of previous months revealed a more mixed picture and manufacturing declined in April. Construction, another previous driver of economic growth, also turned negative in April.

Today’s revised figures indicate that public administration has been shrinking for seven consecutive months. Government austerity is already imposing a measurable drag on Canada’s economy.

UPDATE (June 30): Quoted in The Globe and Mail online

One comment

  • Michael: Yes, my instincts are siamlir. The Passivhaus standard seems to me to be aimed at the wrong problem specification – what I care about is getting to net-zero carbon emissions and there seem to be a lot more and cheaper ways of getting there than Passivhaus.

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