Double exposure of businesswoman in hipster shirt and wearing glasses working with tablet and oil and gas refinery industry plant in the night as Energy and Technology concept
123RF

Economic growth in Canada stalled in July as the oil and gas sector pulled back due to a shutdown of some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore production facilities for maintenance.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday the country’s real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged in July as the weakness in oil and gas extraction offset gains in service industries.

Economists had expected growth of 0.1%, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

“It was a mixed bag of ups and downs for the economy in July, but what seems clear is that any rebound in growth from here on out will likely only be the short-lived result of oil production returning to more normal levels,” said Royce Mendes, senior economist at CIBC World Markets.

The flat reading for July followed a second quarter that saw the economy grow at an annualized pace of 3.7%, the strongest showing for a quarter in two years.

Overall, goods-producing industries fell 0.7% in July, led lower by the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector which pulled back 3.5% in the month, the largest decrease in the sector since May 2016.

Oil and gas extraction fell 3.0% in July as extraction excluding oilsands slipped 4.7%, while oilsands extraction dropped 1.0%.

The construction sector also fell 0.7% in July, while the manufacturing sector edged down 0.1%.

Meanwhile, Statistics Canada says the services-producing industries rose 0.3% as the wholesale sector added 1.1% for the month.

Wholesalers of personal and household goods grew 5.5%, while motor vehicles and parts rose 3.9%.