OTTAWA - Real gross domestic product unexpectedly edged down 0.1 per cent in November after showing no growth in October, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday.
Lower output in the energy sector accounted for most of the November decline, as oil and gas extraction fell 2.5 per cent. Reduced production of crude petroleum, in part due to maintenance shutdowns, led the sector's decline.
There were also drops in wholesale trade, finance and insurance, and construction, the federal agency said in its report, which caught analysts by surprise.
Most had expected a 0.2 per cent rise in GDP in November.
Meanwhile, manufacturing, retail trade, accommodation and food services, professional services and real estate agents and brokers services all posted gains.
Statistics Canada said manufacturing increased 0.6 per cent, with growth based mainly in the production of durable goods.
Wholesale trade was off 0.6 per cent, although retail trade increased 0.6 per cent, a fourth consecutive monthly increase. Retail growth came from better sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and at clothing stores.
Construction was down 0.3 per cent as both residential and non-residential building construction contracted.
Higher activity in the home resale market, particularly in Eastern Canada, produced a 2.2 per cent rise in the output of real estate agents and brokers.
The finance and insurance sector decreased 0.4 per cent, mainly as a result of lower trading on the stock exchanges.
The utilities sector was down 0.6 per cent as unseasonably warm weather cut electricity demand.
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