Real gross domestic product (GDP) was flat, essentially unchanged for a second consecutive month in August, and September’s figures are expected to be similar, according to official industry data and advanced estimates published by Statistics Canada.

Overall, eight of the 20 industrial sectors measured increased in August 2023, including the finance and insurance sector.

While real GDP sat at zero per cent during the month, the finance and insurance sector grew for a third consecutive month, increasing just 0.4 per cent. The small gain is being attributed to volatility in the markets that month.

“Financial investment services, funds and other financial vehicles (gained 2.6 per cent) accounted for nearly all of the sector’s growth as global economic and geopolitical factors contributed to market volatility in the month, increasing the amount of value and volume traded on financial markets in August,” Statistics Canada states.

As for the overall zero per cent gain in the Canadian economy in August, Statistics Canada attributes this to higher interest rates, inflation, forest fires and drought conditions (crop production declined 6.7 per cent in large part due to dry conditions). Services producing industries edged up 0.1 per cent while goods-producing industries contracted 0.2 per cent.

Advance information about September’s report – due out November 30 – suggests that real GDP by industry will remain unchanged in that month as well.