Exports fell 2.7 percent while imports were flat in the quarter. Exports of goods decreased 3.4 percent following three quarters of growth, mainly due to lower sales of motor vehicles and parts (-9 percent) amid work stoppages and changes to certain models destined for the American market. Exports of metal and non-metallic mineral products (-4.5 percent), consumer goods (-3.1 percent) and energy products (-1.9 percent) also fell. Exports of services grew 0.7 percent on the strength of commercial services (+2.5 percent).
Businesses made additions to inventories totalling CAD 17.2 billion in real terms, marking the third consecutive quarter of accumulation. The economy-wide stock-to-sales ratio increased to 0.76 following four consecutive quarterly declines.
Household final consumption expenditure grew 1 percent as households increased their outlays on both services (+1.3 percent) and goods (+0.6 percent). The main contributor was increased expenditure by Canadians abroad (+7.2 percent), in tandem with an appreciating Canadian dollar.
Business gross fixed capital investment slowed to 0.4 percent from 0.7 percent in the previous quarter. Investment in non-residential structures (+0.5 percent), machinery and equipment (+1.5 percent) and intellectual property products (+0.7 percent) all increased, albeit at slower rates than in the strong second quarter. Investment in residential structures (-0.4 percent) fell for a second consecutive period.
The compensation of employees rose 1.3 percent in nominal terms, the strongest growth since the third quarter of 2014, while the gross operating surplus of corporations fell 0.7 percent.
Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP rose 1.7 percent in the third quarter, below a downwardly revised 4.3 percent rise in the previous period but above expectations of 1.6 percent.