: Ontario Economic Accounts

Fourth Quarter of 2017
(October, November, December)
Ontario Ministry of Finance

Table of Contents

ECONOMIC ACCOUNTS

RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Highlights

Ontario’s Economy Continues to Grow

  • Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 0.6% in the fourth quarter (October, November, December) of 2017, following a 0.3% increase in the third quarter.
  • Fourth quarter growth was driven by solid consumer spending and gains in business investment and exports.
  • Nominal GDP increased 1.4%, following a 0.2% gain in the third quarter. Compensation of employees rose by 1.9%, while the net operating surplus of corporations increased 1.2%.
  • Economic production, measured on an industry basis, increased 0.8%. Service sector output advanced by 0.8%, while output in goods-producing industries rose 0.9%.
2017 Annual Highlights
  • Ontario’s real GDP advanced by 2.7% in 2017, following a 2.6% gain in 2016.
  • Growth in 2017 was broadly-based, supported by gains in consumer spending and business investment.
  • Nominal GDP rose by 4.5% in 2017, after increasing 4.3% in 2016.
  • Economic production, measured on an industry basis, increased 2.8% in 2017, with gains in both the goods (+1.7%) and service (+3.1%) producing industries.

Expenditure Details

Broad-Based Gain in Real GDP

Ontario’s real GDP rose by 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 0.3% gain in the third quarter.

Ontario’s household consumption spending increased 0.4%, following a 0.8% gain in the third quarter. Consumer spending on durables (+0.4%), semi-durables (+0.2%) and services (+0.7%) increased, while spending on non-durables was unchanged from the previous quarter.

Business investment advanced 1.3%, after declining in the previous two quarters. Residential construction investment rose 0.4%, reflecting increased new construction and higher home resale activity. Investment in non-residential structures (+2.1%) and machinery and equipment (+2.9%) increased for the fourth consecutive quarter. Investment in intellectual property products (+1.2%) also increased.

Government spending increased by 1.0%, following a 1.2% rise in the third quarter.

Exports (+0.4%) rebounded in the fourth quarter, led by gains in international exports (+0.7%). Interprovincial exports edged down 0.1%. Total imports declined 0.3% in the quarter, after no change in the third quarter.

Businesses accumulated $5.3 billion of inventories, following an $8.6 billion increase in the third quarter.

Final domestic demand, which is GDP excluding exports, imports and inventories, advanced by 0.7% in the fourth quarter, matching the gain recorded in the third quarter.

Income Details

Nominal GDP Continues to Rise

Nominal GDP increased 1.4%, following a 0.2% rise in the third quarter.

Compensation of employees, which includes both wages and salaries, and supplementary labour income, increased 1.9%, after rising 1.3% in the third quarter.

Business sector profits, measured by the net operating surplus of corporations, increased 1.2%, after declining in the previous two quarters.

Net mixed income, which is comprised of farm, non-farm and rental income, rose 1.3%, following a 0.8% increase in the previous quarter.

Household disposable income increased 1.7%, after rising 1.2% in the previous quarter.

Household disposable income advanced at a faster pace than consumption expenditure. As a result, the household savings rate increased 0.7 percentage points to 2.9% in the fourth quarter.

Price Details

Economy-Wide Prices Up

Economy-wide prices, as measured by the implicit price index for GDP, increased 0.8% in the fourth quarter, after edging down 0.1% in the third quarter.

Prices for household consumption expenditures increased 0.6% in the fourth quarter, following a 0.2% decline in the third quarter. Prices for motor vehicles and parts, furniture, appliances, natural gas and gasoline increased, while prices for clothing, food and beverages, and electricity declined in the quarter.

Business investment prices rose 0.7%, with increases in residential construction (+1.1%), machinery and equipment (+0.5%), non-residential construction (+0.2%) and intellectual property products (+0.8%).

Prices were higher for both exports (+1.0%) and imports (+1.0%). During this period the Canadian dollar depreciated by 1.5% against the U.S. dollar.

Industry Details

Goods and Services Industries Contribute to Growth

Based on production by industry, Ontario real GDP expanded 0.8% in the fourth quarter, as both the goods (+0.9%) and service-producing (+0.8%) industries posted gains.

All service-producing industries increased output, with the largest contribution from wholesale trade (+1.6%) and real estate, rental and leasing (+0.8%). Finance and insurance (+0.8%) and retail trade (+0.6%) also posted notable gains.

Within the goods-producing industries, manufacturing output increased 0.9%, driven by advances in transportation equipment (+2.4%), as auto sector output increased (+1.9%) in part due to the resumption of production following extended shutdowns at assembly plants.

Construction advanced 1.3% in the fourth quarter, with gains in both non-residential (+2.1%) and residential (+0.4%).    

Annual Overview

Ontario Real GDP Rises at Solid Pace in 2017

Ontario’s real GDP advanced by 2.7% in 2017, improving from a 2.6% gain in 2016. Growth was led by consumer spending and business investment.

Consumer spending advanced by 3.6%, with gains in durables (+5.5%), semi-durables (+5.9%), non-durables (+3.8%) and services (+2.8%). Business investment rose 2.3%, led by a 7.1% increase in machinery and equipment. Residential (+2.9%) and non-residential (+2.0%) construction also increased. Government spending advanced by 2.9% in 2017, with gains in current (+2.2%) and capital (+6.7%) spending.

Exports declined by 1.4%, with lower international exports of goods and services partially offset by gains in interprovincial exports. Exports of motor vehicles and parts were impacted by plant shutdowns in the auto manufacturing industry. Imports rose 1.2% after no change in 2016.

Nominal GDP advanced 4.5%, following a 4.3% increase in 2016.

Compensation of employees increased by 3.7%, up from a 3.4% gain in 2016. Net operating surplus of corporations rose strongly for the fourth consecutive year, up 9.9% in 2017.

Economy wide prices increased 1.7%, matching the rise in 2016.

Real GDP on an industry basis advanced 2.8% in 2017. Goods sector production advanced 1.7%, supported by construction and manufacturing industries. Service sector growth (+3.1%) was broad-based, with almost all industries reporting gains.

Jurisdictional Comparisons

Ontario Growth in a G7 Context

In the fourth quarter, Ontario’s real GDP growth matched the G7 average (+0.6%) and outpaced Canada (+0.4%).

Across the G7 countries, average real GDP growth slowed from 0.7% in the third quarter to 0.6%. France led the G7, with real GDP rising 0.7%, after a 0.5% gain in the previous quarter. Compared to the third quarter, economic growth decelerated in Germany (+0.6% from +0.7%), Japan (+0.4% from +0.6%), the United Kingdom (+0.4% from +0.5%) and Italy (+0.3% from +0.4%).

Across Canada, real GDP advanced 0.4% for the second consecutive quarter. Growth was supported by business investment (+2.3%) and household consumption (+0.5%). Quebec’s real GDP rose 0.5% in the fourth quarter, following a 1.3% gain in the third quarter.

In the United States, real GDP advanced 0.7%, after rising 0.8% in the previous quarter, led by personal consumption expenditure and business investment.

On an annual basis, Ontario’s real GDP grew by 2.7% in 2017, outpacing all G7 countries except Canada (+3.0%).

Employment

Unemployment Rate Remains at 17-Year Low

In 2017, Ontario employment increased by 128,400, the strongest annual gain since 2003. In 2018, employment declined in January, the first monthly decline in 10 months, but resumed gains in February and March.

Ontario’s unemployment rate has improved considerably. As of March, Ontario’s unemployment rate was 5.5%, a 17-year low, and has been below the Canadian rate for 35 consecutive months.

As of March, employment was 8.3% (+549,100 jobs) above the pre-recession peak and 12.9% (+821,600 jobs) above the recessionary low.

Since the recessionary low, the majority of jobs created were full-time positions (+790,600), while part-time employment (+30,900) also increased. Most of these net new jobs were in the private sector (+577,000) and in industries paying above–average wages (+546,500).

Trade

Retail and Wholesale Trade Advance in January

Retail sales advanced 6.4% in 2017, following a 7.1% gain in 2016. In January, sales advanced a further 1.2% (m/m), the sixth increase in seven months.

Wholesale trade increased 9.3% in 2017, after a 6.4% increase in 2016. In January, wholesale trade edged up 0.2% (m/m), supported by higher sales of food and beverages and personal and household goods.

Manufacturing sales rose 1.7% in 2017, after a 4.0% increase in 2016. In January, sales declined 2.3% (m/m), following atypical auto plant shutdowns.

Ontario’s international merchandise exports declined 2.7% in 2017, as trade was impacted by extended auto plant shutdowns. Exports to Ontario’s top market, the United States, declined (-3.5%) in 2017, while exports to the United Kingdom (+5.5%) and China (+9.6%) rose.

Housing

Housing Market

Sales of existing homes increased 13.3% in the fourth quarter, following a 10.8% decline in the third quarter. Overall, sales declined 9.6% in 2017 compared to 2016. The decrease was concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Ontario average home resale prices increased 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Overall, average prices increased 9.5% in 2017, following a gain of 15.1% in 2016.

Housing starts were down 12.2% for the fourth quarter, after rising 22.4% in the third quarter. Overall, housing starts rose 5.6% in 2017.

Housing market activity has been restrained in early 2018.

Sales of existing homes were 17.1% lower in the first quarter of 2018.

Ontario’s average home resale price declined 1.2% in the first quarter of 2018 to $558,000.

Housing starts increased 16.5% in the first quarter of 2018.

Global Economic Developments

Global Outlook Improves

The global economy has recorded strong growth recently alongside an improving outlook. According to Consensus Forecasts, the outlook for global real GDP growth in 2018 has risen from 3.2% last December to 3.3% currently. This improvement is largely due to stronger growth forecasts for the euro area and the U.S. along with a modest upward revision for Japan.  Recent U.S. tax reform and spending increases are expected to provide a solid boost to U.S. growth in 2018, supporting stronger growth more broadly among its trading partners.

U.S. real GDP expanded 0.7% in the fourth quarter, down slightly from a 0.8% gain in the third quarter. Net trade was a significant drag on fourth quarter growth as a 1.7% gain in exports was more than offset by a 3.4% surge in imports. Domestic demand accelerated strongly, driven by a 1.0% gain in personal consumption.  Residential (+3.1%) and non-residential (+1.7%) investment rebounded, following the hurricane-related decline in the third quarter. Economic indicators released so far this year point to a slower pace of U.S. real GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018.

U.S. payroll employment growth remained strong in the first quarter, adding 605,000 net new jobs, slightly below the 662,000 created in the fourth quarter of 2017. The unemployment rate remains low at 4.1% in March, unchanged since October and the lowest rate since late-2000. Wage growth remains restrained, with average hourly wage growth easing to 2.7% (year-over-year) in March, in-line with the average pace of growth since mid-2016.

Oil Prices Hold Strong While Canadian Dollar Eases

In response to strong economic growth and associated capacity constraints raising the prospects of increased inflation, the Bank of Canada has hiked the target for the overnight rate three times since July 2017. The Bank’s most recent increase in January brought the overnight rate to 1.25%. The Federal Reserve has also increased rates, with the latest rise in March bringing the target range for the fed funds rate up to 1.50% to 1.75%. Longer-term government bond yields have also moved higher recently, influenced by short-term rate hikes as well as U.S. fiscal stimulus.

Oil prices have fluctuated in the first quarter of 2018, on average holding on to strong gains made in the second half of 2017.  Strong international demand, continued OPEC supply restraint and reduced oil stockpiles have helped boost prices.

Despite higher oil prices, the Canadian dollar has trended lower amid relatively weaker economic data and shifting expectations regarding future Canada and U.S. interest rate increases. Since early January, the Canadian dollar has eased from around 79 cents U.S. to slightly above 77 cents U.S at the end of March.

After a long period of relatively steady gains, volatility returned to global financial markets in the first quarter of 2018. The S&P 500 advanced rapidly through January before retreating sharply alongside other major international indices through the remainder of the quarter. Since late December, the S&P 500 (-2.9%), the S&P/TSX Composite (-6.3%), Euro Stoxx 50 (-6.0%) and Nikkei 225 (-7.6%), all posted declines.

In Focus

A Closer Look at 2017 CPI Inflation

The Consumer Price Index* (CPI) for Ontario increased 1.7% in 2017, slightly lower than the 1.8% rise in 2016. Over the post-recession 2010-17 period, Ontario CPI inflation has averaged 1.9%.

For Canada, CPI inflation was 1.6% in 2017, up from 1.4% in 2016. CPI inflation in Canada has averaged 1.7% over the 2010-17 period.

Prices that consumers paid for services in Ontario advanced 2.8% in 2017, while goods prices edged up 0.2%.

Six of the eight major expenditure categories experienced price increases in 2017. Transportation prices, (which includes gasoline), was the largest contributor to CPI inflation, advancing 4.4%. The second largest contributor was the shelter category, where prices rose 1.7%, despite a decline in electricity prices (-17.0%). Food prices edged down 0.1% in 2017, the first annual decline since 1994.

Energy prices advanced 2.6% in Ontario in 2017, driven by increasing gasoline prices, which rose 13.3%. Electricity prices, which declined 25% starting in July, helped mitigate overall energy inflation in 2017.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, Ontario prices advanced 2.0% in 2017, matching inflation in 2015 and 2016. By contrast, Canadian prices (excluding food and energy) advanced 1.6%, lower than 2016 (+1.9%) and 2015 (+1.8%).

* Changes in the prices consumers pay for goods and services is tracked by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which follows the prices of a fixed-basket (i.e. consistent selection, quantity and quality) of goods and services through time. The index is used for a variety of purposes, including as the target for the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy, which aims to keep Canada-wide CPI inflation at the 2% midpoint of a target range between 1% and 3%.

Appendix

Structure of the Ontario Economy

How GDP is Measured

The Ontario Economic Accounts provide measurements of GDP using three different methodologies, by expenditure, income and industry.

The GDP by expenditure approach defines GDP as the aggregate of all expenditures on final consumption, gross capital formation and net trade by consumers, governments and businesses that occur within Ontario’s economy over a given time period. This measurement of GDP can also be defined as the sum of consumer spending, gross investment, government spending and net trade.

The GDP by income approach equates GDP to the total income earned through contributions to production within Ontario’s economy by labour and capital over a given time period. That is, GDP is the sum of all wages and salaries paid to employees, the gross operating surplus of businesses, gross mixed income and indirect taxes less subsidies.

The GDP by industry approach measures GDP by calculating the total output of the goods and services producing industries within Ontario’s economy and subtracting the cost of intermediate inputs used in final production. This approach can also be referred to as the value-added approach as it quantifies the additional value generated by industries through the production of final products within the economy.

For a full list of definitions used in the Ontario Economic Accounts, please see Statistics Canada’s System of Macroeconomic Accounts Glossary at http://www.statcan.gc.ca/eng/nea/gloss/gloss_a.

List of Data Tables

Income and Expenditure Data

Quarterly Data, 2014:Q1–2017:Q4

Table 1: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Income-Based)
Table 2: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Expenditure-Based)
Table 3: Ontario Gross Domestic Product at Chained 2007 Prices
Table 4: Sources and Disposition of Ontario Household Income
Table 5: Ontario Trade
Table 6: Ontario Trade (Chained 2007 Prices)
Table 7: Ontario Deflators

Annual Data, 2014-2017

Table 8: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Income-Based)
Table 9: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Expenditure-Based)
Table 10: Ontario Gross Domestic Product at Chained 2007 Prices
Table 11: Sources and Disposition of Ontario Household Income
Table 12: Ontario Trade
Table 13: Ontario Trade (Chained 2007 Prices)
Table 14: Ontario Deflators

Ontario Production by Industry at 2007 Prices

Table 15: Quarterly Data, 2014:Q1-2017:Q4
Table 16: Annual Data, 2014-2017

Historical tables, both annual and quarterly available from 1981.
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Graphic Descriptions

Highlights: Ontario GDP, Fourth Quarter 2017

The chart indicates the per cent change in real and nominal GDP in the fourth quarter of 2017. Real GDP increased 0.6% and nominal GDP increased 1.4% in the quarter.

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Highlights: Ontario GDP, 2017 Annual

The chart indicates the per cent change in real and nominal GDP over the year 2017. Real GDP increased 2.7% and nominal GDP increased 4.5% in 2017.

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Expenditure Details: Real GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly per cent real GDP growth from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Ontario has experienced real GDP growth over the entire period. Real GDP rose 0.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 0.3% increase in the third quarter of 2017. The first quarter of 2017 recorded the strongest gain over the period, at 1.2%.

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Expenditure Details: Real GDP Change by Expenditure Component

The horizontal bar chart depicts the per cent change in Ontario’s real GDP and its components for the fourth quarter of 2017. Real GDP rose 0.6% in the quarter, with increases in household consumption (+0.4%), business investment (+1.3%), government spending (+1.0%) and exports (+0.4%). Imports declined 0.3%.

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Expenditure Details: Real Export and Import Growth

The bar chart shows the quarterly per cent change in real exports and imports from the first quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Exports increased 0.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, while imports declined 0.3%.

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Income Details: Nominal GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly per cent nominal GDP growth from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Ontario has experienced nominal GDP growth over the entire period. Nominal GDP rose 1.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 0.2% increase in the third quarter of 2017. The first quarter of 2017 recorded the strongest gain over the period, at 2.1%.

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Income Details: Nominal GDP Change by Income Component

The horizontal bar chart depicts the per cent change in nominal GDP and its components for the fourth quarter of 2017. Nominal GDP rose 1.4% in the fourth quarter, with increases in compensation of employees (+1.9%), net mixed income (+1.3%), net operating surplus (+1.2%) and indirect taxes less subsidies (+0.1%).

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Income Details: Compensation of Employees Growth

The bar chart shows Ontario’s quarterly growth of employee compensation in per cent from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Compensation of employees rose 1.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 1.3% increase in the third quarter of 2017. The fourth quarter of 2017 recorded the strongest gain over the period.

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Price Details: Economy-Wide Price Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly growth of economy-wide prices in per cent from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Economy-wide prices increased 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 0.1% decline in the third quarter. Since the first quarter of 2014, the strongest growth in prices was recorded in the first quarter of 2014 (+1.1%), while the largest decline was posted in the fourth quarter of 2014 (-0.3%).

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Price Details: Price Change by Expenditure Component

The horizontal bar chart shows the per cent change in prices by expenditure component for the fourth quarter of 2017. The overall GDP deflator increased 0.8% in the fourth quarter, with prices increasing for household consumption (+0.6%), business investment (+0.7%), government spending (+0.2%), exports (+1.0%) and imports (+1.0%).

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Price Details: Export and Import Price Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly growth of export and import prices in per cent from the first quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2017. In the fourth quarter of 2017, prices were higher for both imports (+1.0%) and exports (+1.0%). Since 2015, the largest gain in import prices (+1.9%) was in the fourth quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017. The largest gain in export prices (+1.8%) was in the third quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2017. The largest fall in import (-3.4%) and export (-2.9%) prices was in the third quarter of 2017.

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Industry Details: Real GDP Growth by Industry

The bar chart depicts Ontario’s quarterly growth of real GDP by industry in per cent from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2017. Ontario real GDP advanced 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2017, following a 0.4% gain in the third quarter of 2017. Over the entire period, real GDP by industry has grown consistently, with the strongest gain of 1.2% recorded in the first quarter of 2017.

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Industry Details: Real GDP Change by Industry

The horizontal bar chart illustrates the per cent change in real GDP by industry category for the fourth quarter of 2017. The output of all industries grew 0.8% in the quarter. Output in the service industries rose 0.8%, including industry increases as follows: wholesale trade (+1.6%), other services (+0.9%), finance and insurance (+0.8%), real estate, rental and leasing (+0.8%), retail trade (+0.6%), professional and administrative services (+0.6%), health, education and public administration (+0.4%). Output rose 0.9% in goods-producing industries, including industry changes as follows: utilities (+1.9%), construction (+1.3%), manufacturing (+0.9%) and primary industries (-1.2%).

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Industry Details: Real GDP Change by Manufacturing Industry

The horizontal bar chart shows the per cent change in real GDP by manufacturing industry for the fourth quarter of 2017. In total, output by manufacturing industries increased 0.9% in the quarter. The change in output of each manufacturing industry is as follows: electrical and electronic (+4.3%); wood and furniture (+3.8%); primary and fabricated metal (+3.1%); transportation equipment (+2.4%); paper and printing (+0.8%); machinery (+0.4%); plastic and rubber (+0.1%); food, beverage and tobacco (+0.1%); textile, clothing and leather (-0.2%); chemical and petroleum (-3.0%); and, other manufacturing (-4.2%).

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Annual Overview: Real GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s annual per cent real GDP growth from 2001 to 2017. Real GDP rose 2.7% in 2017, following a 2.6% increase in 2016. Ontario has experienced real GDP growth for every year except for a decline in 2009 (-3.1%) and no change in 2008. The largest gain over the period was in 2002 (+3.4%).

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Annual Overview: Real GDP Change by Expenditure Component

The horizontal bar chart depicts the per cent change in Ontario’s real GDP and its components for 2017. Real GDP rose 2.7% over the year, with increases in household consumption (+3.6%), business investment (+2.3%), government spending (+2.9%) and imports (+1.2%). Exports declined 1.4%.

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Annual Overview: Nominal GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s annual per cent nominal GDP growth from 2001 to 2017. Nominal GDP rose 4.5% in 2017, following a 4.3% increase in 2016. Ontario has experienced nominal GDP growth over the entire period, except for a 1.7% decline in 2009. The strongest gain over the period (+5.5%) was recorded in 2002 and 2010.

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Jurisdictional Comparisons: Fourth Quarter Real GDP Growth, G7 and Ontario

The bar chart shows the quarterly per cent change in real GDP for all G7 countries, Ontario and the G7 average for the fourth quarter of 2017. The change in real GDP for each jurisdiction is as follows: France (+0.7%), United States (+0.7%), Germany (+0.6%), G7 Average (+0.6%), Ontario (+0.6%), Japan (+0.4%), Canada (+0.4%), United Kingdom (+0.4%) and Italy (+0.3%).

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Jurisdictional Comparisons: 2017 Real GDP Growth, G7 and Ontario

The bar chart shows the 2017 annual per cent change in real GDP for all G7 countries, Ontario and the G7 average. The change in real GDP for each jurisdiction is as follows: Canada (+3.0%), Ontario (+2.7%), United States (+2.3%), Germany (+2.2%), G7 Average (+2.1%), France (+1.8%), United Kingdom (+1.8%), Japan (+1.7%)  and Italy (+1.5%).

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Employment: Ontario’s Labour Force

The chart indicates the change in Ontario’s employment and the unemployment rate in March 2018. Ontario’s employment rose by 10,600 net new jobs in March 2018, while the unemployment rate was 5.5% in March 2018.

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Employment: Ontario Labour Market

The combination line and area chart show Ontario’s unemployment rate (line chart) and employment (area chart). Employment has increased steadily from a low of 6.38 million in June 2009 to 7.20 million in March 2018. The unemployment rate peaked in June 2009 at 9.6% and has since steadily trended downwards, reaching 5.5% in March 2018.

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Employment: Employment Gains Concentrated in Full-Time, Private Sector, Above Average Wage Jobs

The bar chart shows different characteristics of Ontario employment gains since June 2009. Total employment has increased by 822,000 since June 2009, with full-time employment up by 791,000, while part-time employment rose by 31,000. Private-sector employment increased by 577,000, while public-sector employment rose by 127,000 and self-employment was up by 118,000. Employment in above-average wage industries rose by 547,000 compared to a 275,000 employment increase in below-average wage industries.

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Trade: Retail Sales

The line chart shows Ontario’s retail sales in billions of dollars from January 2014 to January 2018. Ontario’s retail sales have steadily trended upwards since January 2014. Ontario’s retail sales advanced 6.4% in 2017.

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Trade: Wholesale Trade

The line chart shows Ontario’s wholesale trade in billions of dollars from January 2014 to January 2018. Ontario’s wholesale trade has steadily trended upwards since January 2014. Ontario’s wholesale trade rose 9.3% in 2017.

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Trade: Manufacturing Sales

The line chart shows Ontario’s manufacturing sales in billions of dollars from January 2014 to January 2018. Ontario’s manufacturing sales trended upwards in 2014 and 2015, with most of the growth occurring at the end of 2015. Following the strong start to 2016, manufacturing sales declined before resuming an upward trend into 2017, until declining mid-2017, before once again increasing in the latter part of 2017. Ontario’s manufacturing sales rose 1.7% in 2017.

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Housing: Home Resales

The line chart shows Ontario’s home resales in units from January 2014 to March 2018. Ontario’s home resales grew from about 15,800 in January 2014 to over 21,700 in October 2016. After a slight subsequent decline, home resales increased to almost 21,500 in March 2017. Home resales declined to about 15,800 in July 2017, and recovered to about 19,500 in December 2017. In March 2018, home resales were about 15,800 units. Ontario’s home resales declined 9.6% in 2017.

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Housing: Home Resale Prices

The line chart shows Ontario’s average home resale prices in dollars from January 2014 to March 2018. Ontario’s home resale price increased from $421,000 in January 2014 to a peak of $650,000 in March 2017. Average resales prices declined to $536,000 in June 2017 and have since increased to $557,000 in March 2018. Ontario’s home resale prices rose 9.5% in 2017.

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Housing: Housing Starts

The line chart shows Ontario’s housing starts in thousands of units (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) from January 2014 to March 2018. Ontario’s housing starts reached a peak of over 106,000 units in February 2018, but declined to 75,000 units in March 2018. The low over the period was just under 42,000 in February 2015. Ontario’s housing starts increased 5.6% in 2017, after increasing 6.8% in 2016.

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Global Economic Developments: Real GDP Growth Forecasts for 2018

This bar chart compares 2018 annual real GDP growth forecasts for the world, euro zone, United States and Japan for December 2017 and March 2018. Between December 2017 and March 2018, real GDP growth forecasts improved from 3.2% to 3.3% for the world, from 2.1% to 2.4% for the euro zone, from 1.3% to 1.4% for Japan, and from 2.5% to 2.8% for the U.S. The forecast was unchanged at 2.1% for Canada.

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Global Economic Developments: U.S. Real GDP Growth and Domestic Demand

The bar chart illustrates the quarterly per cent change in real GDP and real domestic demand in the U.S. from the first quarter of 2014 to the fourth quarter of 2017. U.S. real GDP rose 0.7% in the fourth quarter of 2017, down slightly from the 0.8% gain in the third quarter. Real domestic demand growth was 1.1% in the fourth quarter, stronger than real GDP growth. Over the entire period, U.S. real GDP has grown consistently, with the exception of a 0.2% decline in the first quarter of 2014. Over this period, real domestic demand has generally outpaced real GDP growth.

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Global Economic Developments: U.S. Labour Market

This bar and line chart shows the U.S. unemployment rate (line chart) and employment (bar chart) from January 2016 to March 2018. Over this period, employment has increased in every month and the unemployment rate, after showing an improving trend since January 2014, is unchanged at 4.1% since October 2017

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Global Economic Developments: Government Bond Yields

The line chart shows the weekly rates of the ten-year bond yields for the U.S government and the Government of Canada from January 2016 to March 2018. Between early January and late February the yield on U.S. ten-year bonds gradually rose from 2.4% to 2.9% where it has remained little-changed to the end of March. Between early January and late February, the yield on Canadian ten-year bonds rose from 2.0% to 2.3%, but has since eased back to 2.2% by the end of March.

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Global Economic Developments: Oil Prices and the Canadian Dollar

The line chart shows the daily oil prices ($US per barrel) and Canadian dollar (cents U.S.) between January 2016 and March 2018. Since its recent peak of over 81 cents U.S. in late January 2018, the dollar has gradually fallen to slightly over 77 cents U.S. by late March.  Since oil prices peaked at almost $66 U.S. per barrel in early March, oil prices quickly fell to below $60 U.S. per barrel but have since recovered back up to over $65 U.S. per barrel by the end of March.

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Global Economic Developments: Stock Indexes

The line chart shows the daily value of the S&P 500, Nikkei, TSX and Euro Stoxx 50 stock indexes from January 2016 to March 2018. The indexes represented in the chart follow a similar upward trend, rising from their lowest values at the beginning of 2016. Since January 4st 2016 the S&P 500 has risen 29%, the Nikkei has risen 19%, the TSX has risen 17% and the Euro Stoxx 50 has risen 5%.

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In Focus: Ontario CPI, 2017

The chart indicates the per cent change in the Ontario CPI all-items and CPI excluding food and energy indexes for 2017. Ontario CPI all items increased 1.7% and CPI excluding food and energy increased 2.0% in 2017.

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In Focus: Prices Increased in Most Major Categories in 2017

The horizontal bar chart shows the annual per cent change in prices for eight major CPI categories for 2016 and 2017. Alcohol and tobacco inflation was 3.5% in 2016 and 3.2% in 2017. Recreation, education and reading inflation was 2.1% in 2016 and 3.0% in 2017. Health and personal care inflation was 1.2% in 2016 and 1.9% in 2017. Transportation inflation was 1.0% in 2016 and 4.4% in 2017. Clothing and footwear inflation was -0.2% in 2016 and -2.3% in 2017. Household operations and furnishings inflation was 1.5% in 2016 and 0.6% in 2017. Shelter inflation was 2.7% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2017. Food inflation was 1.6% in 2016 and -0.1% in 2017.

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In Focus: Electricity Mitigated Overall Energy Inflation in 2017

The bar chart shows the 2017 per cent changes in the CPI price indexes for four categories. Energy prices increased 2.6%, gasoline prices increased 13.3%, natural gas prices increased 11.4% and electricity prices declined 17.0%.

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Appendix: Per Cent Share of Nominal GDP, 2016*

The pie chart illustrates Ontario’s shares of nominal GDP by industry in 2016. The good-producing industries accounted for 22.5% of nominal GDP, including manufacturing (11.9%), construction (6.7%), utilities (2.1%) and primary (1.8%). The service producing industries accounted for 77.5% of nominal GDP, including other services (15.5%), real estate and rental and leasing (13.1%)**, health and education (12.8%), wholesale and retail trade (11.6%), finance and insurance (9.5%), public administration (7.2%), transportation and warehousing (4.1%) and information and culture (3.7%).

* Update for 2017 available on May 2, 2018

**Includes owner occupied dwellings.

Source: Statistics Canada.

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Appendix: GDP measurement methods

  • Expenditure Approach
    • Sum of expenditures of all sectors of the economy
    • Consumer Spending + Investment + Government Spending + Exports – Imports
  • Income Approach
    • Sum of all incomes
    • Wage and Salaries + Profits + Mixed Incomes + Indirect taxes – Subsidies
  • Production Approach (GDP by Industry)
    • Sum of value added in all industry sectors
    • Output of Goods Producing Industries + Output of Services Producing Industries – Intermediate Inputs

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