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Published on Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Canada's Q1 GDP grows 3 times faster than US

Canadian GDP soars 3.7 per cent in first quarter

Canada's Q1 GDP grows 3 times faster than US
Economic growth strong
Canada’s economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.7 per cent during the first quarter, outstripping the 1.2 per cent pace of growth in the U.S.
By Drew Hasselback, Financial Post

Canada’s economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.7 per cent during the first quarter, outstripping the 1.2 per cent pace of growth in the U.S.

The first quarter result as a slight disappointment to the consensus that Canada’s first quarter gross domestic product might have topped 4.0 per cent, but the data still points to an economy that is rapidly picking up the slack left by the oil price downturn.

Domestic consumption drove growth, with exports of goods and services taking a bit of a slide.

Statistics Canada said the country’s economy grew 0.5 per cent in March, which was much better than most economists had expected for the month. But overall, economists had thought the data leading into March had established a trend line that might take GDP above 4.0 per cent.

“Economic data always find a way to surprise, but in the case of Canadian GDP data, there was something for both the optimists and the naysayers,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist with CIBC World Markets Inc. “Overall Q1 growth was rock solid at 3.7 per cent, but that fell a half point short of the consensus, which had been relying on monthly GDP for the first two months pointing to a firmer number.”

Domestic demand grew by 1.2 per cent, while exports decreased by 0.1 per cent.

Households spent 1.1 per cent more to buy goods during the quarter, led by a 2.3 per cent jump in vehicle purchases.

Business investment also increased. Real estate construction was up 3.7 per cent. Investments in machinery and equipment were up 5.8 per cent, rebounding after declines in four of the five prior quarters.

Exports of goods remained unchanged, while exports of services dropped 0.5 per cent.
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Author: Mayor Rob Burton

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