OTTAWA — The Canadian economy edged up 0.1 per cent in April — no thanks to the country's NHL teams, which were shut out of the playoffs this year.
Statistics Canada reported Thursday that there was a 3.9 per cent drop in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector in April. The agency also attributed the sector's decline to the lack of NHL playoff games played in Canada in the month.
It was the first time since 1970 that no Canadian team made the National Hockey League playoffs.
This chart shows what happens to GDP when Canadian clubs don't make the postseason:
— Scarlet Fu (@scarletfu) June 30, 2016
Bank of Montreal chief economist Doug Porter said spectator sports are only a small part of the economy, but there would probably have been more growth in April if it weren't for the shutout of all seven Canadian teams from post-season play.
"If we had say two or three teams in the playoffs as per usual, the growth rate in April might have been two-tenths of a per cent rather than one-tenth of a per cent,'' Porter said.
Overall, the one-month gain in Canada's real gross domestic product between March and April matched the expectations of economists, according to Thomson Reuters.
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin grimaces after being hit with the puck during the second period of their NHL hockey game in the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. on Jan. 13, 2010. (Photo: Eric Miller/Reuters)
However, the growth came ahead of what is expected to be a weak May due to the forest fires in Alberta that forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray and the shut down of several oilsands operations.
Statistics Canada said gains in manufacturing, utilities and the public sector in April helped drive the growth, offset by a drop in non-conventional oil extraction.
Service-producing industries rose 0.2 per cent in April, after being essentially unchanged in March, while goods-producing industries pulled back 0.1 per cent for the month.
A wildfire burns as evacuees who were stranded north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada head south of Fort McMurray on Highway 63, May 6, 2016. (Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction fell 1.4 per cent, the third consecutive month the sector has pulled back.
The main reason for the drop was a 2.4 per cent drop decline in oil and gas extraction, as output from non-conventional oil extraction fell 7.3 per cent due to maintenance shutdowns at upgrader facilities. Conventional oil and gas grew 1.7 per cent.
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