The Canadian economy stagnated for a third consecutive month in October, according to data released Friday by Statistics Canada.

“Canada’s economic engine continued to stall in the fourth quarter,” reacts Royce Mendes, economist at Desjardins Group and head of macroeconomic strategy, in a note to clients.

“As more households and businesses feel the effects of rising interest rates in 2024, we expect Canada to fall into a mild recession at best. So even though the economy is currently experiencing hiccups, it could start to decline at the start of the new year. »

The federal agency reported that activity in service-producing industries edged up 0.1% in October, while goods-producing industries were unchanged.

Statistics Canada also projects that real gross domestic product (GDP) for November rose 0.1%, led by gains in manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, as well as agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, partially offset by a decline in retail trade.

Olivia Cross of Capital Economics finds that the GDP figures were weaker than expected, which would increase the risk of the economy contracting again in the final quarter. “This is another reason to think that the Bank of Canada will soon take the turn towards monetary easing.”

“Overall, quarterly GDP growth will most likely be lower than the Bank of Canada’s forecast of an annualized gain of 0.8%,” she adds.

In October, the manufacturing sector fell by 0.6% and wholesale trade by 0.7%, again according to Statistics Canada. For their part, retail trade grew 1.2% while mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction saw a 1% gain.

The transportation and warehousing sector declined 0.2% in October. The strike at the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation led to a reduction in activity in certain transportation subsectors.

This included a 3.7% contraction in shipping. This is the first drop since the labor dispute at the Port of Vancouver. Truck transportation, for its part, was down 0.9%.

Andrew Grantham, CIBC economist, said that while supply issues continue to hold back activity due to events like the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation strike and the strike in the automotive sector in the United States, there are also indications of weak demand.

“Weak demand will likely persist as more homeowners refinance their loans at higher interest rates, limiting overall economic activity and seeing inflation slow further in 2024, opening the door to a decline rates in the second quarter of next year,” he said in a note.

Real estate broker activity fell 6.8% in October, the largest monthly decline since April 2022, as the majority of Canada’s largest real estate markets continued to slow, according to Statistics Canada.