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Ontario economy slowing

Ontario’s economy grew last year but not as fast as before.

A report from Statistics Canada showed the province’s Gross Domestic Product jumped 2.2 per cent in 2018 but it’s the slowest growth rate since 2013.

The report stated manufacturing output was up 1.7 per cent, with 10 of 19 subsectors showing increases. The largest contributions to the increase came from machinery, fabricated metal products and food manufacturing. Stats Can also said transportation equipment manufacturing was down 1.7 per cent, the third decrease in four years, as motor vehicle manufacturing declined seven per cent in part because of reduced American demand for models built in Canada.

Data showed crop production rose 11.5 per cent, mainly due to a ramp-up in licensed cannabis crop production.

Construction output edged up 0.2 per cent as increases in non-residential construction and repair construction were partly offset by decreases in residential construction. In addition, engineering construction declined by 0.9 per cent.

Retail trade increased two per cent with gains in 8 of 12 sub-sectors.

The activity of real estate agents and brokers fell 15.7 per cent partly due to the new mortgage stress test introduced on January 1, 2018.

Mining and quarrying declined 5.3 per cent as a 17.1 per cent drop in copper, nickel, lead and zinc ore mining more than offset an increase in gold and silver mining.

Service-producing industries grew 2.4 per cent and accounted for 1.9 percentage points of the overall economic growth, while goods-producing industries rose 1.3 per cent.

Public sector services grew three per cent and accounted for most of the growth in service-producing industries.

Professional, scientific and technical services rose 4.9 per cent, mainly because of increases in computer systems design and related services and in other professional, scientific and technical services.

Finance and insurance industries were up 2.4 per cent, which is the lowest growth rate since 2012, primarily due to slower gains at financial investment services and depository credit intermediation and monetary authorities.

Wholesale trade increased 2.9 per cent, primarily due to an 8.9 per cent rise at machinery, equipment and supplies wholesalers.

Transportation and warehousing rose 3.9 per cent, mainly from increases in air transportation and warehousing and storage.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a measurement of a nation’s overall economic activity. GDP is the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific time period.