StatsCan: Economy grew 0.4% in February, boosted by resource sector

Tuesday May 01, 2018
Written by The Canadian Press
May 1, 2018 - The Canadian economy, which contracted to start the year, bounced back in February, led by gains in the mining and oil and gas extraction sector.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday real gross domestic product grew 0.4 per cent in February after a slight pullback of 0.1 per cent in January.

The mining and oil and gas extraction sector gained 2.4 per cent for the month as production in the oil and gas sector began returning to normal after a number of issues in January including unscheduled maintenance shutdowns.

Economists had expected an overall increase of 0.3 per cent in February, according to Thomson Reuters.

“The rebound in February GDP is encouraging even as oil drove a good chunk of the gain, as growth was pretty broad based,” Benjamin Reitzes, Canadian rates and macro strategist at BMO Capital Markets, wrote in a report.

“For the Bank of Canada, this report likely doesn’t change much, but reinforces the theme that the economy is in decent shape and can continue to move slowly but surely higher.”

Overall, 15 of the 20 industrial sectors tracked saw growth.

Goods-producing industries grew 1.2 per cent as manufacturing and construction rose in addition to the rebound in mining and oil and gas extraction.

The manufacturing sector rose 1.0 per cent in February, while the construction sector gained 0.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the services-producing side edged up 0.1 per cent, hurt by a 0.5 decline in wholesale trade and weakness in the real estate and rental and leasing sector which was affected by mortgage rule changes at the start of the year including stress tests for uninsured mortgages.

The real estate and rental and leasing sector fell 0.2 per cent in February after a 0.5 per cent decline in January, the first back-to-back contractions since the summer of 2010.

The output of offices of real estate agents and brokers fell 7.9 per cent in February after a 12.9 per cent drop in January.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2018

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