“Construction fell 0.4 per cent in January. Both residential and non-residential building construction were down, while engineering construction was up,” an official Stats Canada release states. “The output of real estate agents and brokers decreased 5.7 per cent in January, a fifth consecutive monthly decline. The decline was mainly the result of weakness in the home resale market in Alberta and Saskatchewan.”
January’s slight decline follows an uptick of 0.3 per cent in December.
The banking sector, meanwhile, enjoyed a slight increase.
“The finance and insurance sector was up 0.2 per cent in January following a 1.3 per cent gain in December,” the release states. “Both banking and insurance services increased while financial investment services declined.”
Interestingly, oil and gas extraction rose in in January to 2.6 per cent after a notable (2.1 per cent) decline in December.
“Non-conventional oil extraction posted a notable gain, following two consecutive monthly declines, as production rose following maintenance in the fourth quarter at some oil sands facilities,” the release states. “However, both conventional crude petroleum and natural gas extraction were down in January.”
Crude oil prices continued to decline in January, following a downward trend started in July 2014.
Canada’s real gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.1 per cent in January due in part to sagging construction and diminishing output from real estate professionals.