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Statistics Canada reports drop in real GDP in late 2008

The latest report from Statistics Canada points to a drop in real GDP and confirms what most economists and media outlets have been saying for months. But the bright spot in all this gloom? Agriculture and its newly professed placement in the "industrial sector".

March 4, 2009  By Reed Construction Data/Statistics Canada

March 3, 2009 

According to Statistics Canada, “real” inflation-adjusted Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Canada dropped 3.4 percent on an annualized basis in the latest measured period, the fourth quarter of 2008. This was the poorest performance for Canadian GDP since the first quarter of 1991, when the change was -5.9 percent.

While there were a number of contributing factors to the GDP decline, the fact that personal consumer spending fell by 3.3 percent annualized explains much of what happened. Cautious consumers cut their expenditures for the first time since the final quarter of 1995. Nevertheless, there are many interesting sides to the economic story.


Only one sector had an increase in production and that was agriculture. Increasingly, analysts are paying attention to agriculture as the industrial sector of the moment. The worldwide demand/supply imbalance for food has eased somewhat from a year ago, but it remains a potential hot topic. Among commodity prices, “agricultural products” is one of the few areas where prices have retained stability as opposed to sharp drop-offs.

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