OTTAWA — Real gross domestic product expanded 0.7% in the fourth quarter, the same increase as in the third quarter, according to StatCan numbers. On a monthly basis, real GDP fell 0.5% in December. Business investment in residential structures declined 0.6% in the fourth quarter, following two consecutive quarters of growth, but investment in new home construction rose 1.5%, following three consecutive quarters of decline.
Retail trade decreased 2.1% in December, following five consecutive monthly increases. Declines in activity were broad based, notably at clothing and clothing accessories stores, motor vehicles and parts dealers, building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, and electronics and appliance stores. Wholesale trade fell 1.5% in December, mainly because of declines in the wholesaling of machinery, equipment and supplies and, to a lesser extent, personal and household goods and motor vehicles.