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Ontario’s gross domestic product falls 0.3 percent in Q2 after seven straight gains


Ontario’s gross domestic product fell 0.3 percent in the second quarter, and officials are blaming a weakened U.S. economy and an auto parts shortage caused by the tsunami in Japan.

It was the first drop in GDP after seven consecutive gains, but Finance Minister Dwight Duncan is confident figures will show Ontario returning to positive growth in the third quarter.

Business investment on plant and machinery jumped 4.9 percent. Consumer expenditures increased slightly for the ninth consecutive quarter as people bought more auto parts, furniture, appliances and other durable goods.

Spending on new housing construction increased 2.8 percent, while renovations increased 4.6 percent.

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Output from Ontario’s manufacturing sector decreased by 2.3 percent in the second quarter, while auto production dropped 8.4 percent because of supply problems caused by the tsunami in Japan.