Canada’s Economy Slows In January

02 April 2012 09:30am - Florence Fullalove

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Canada’s Economy Slows In January

Statistics Canada has reported that Canada’s gross domestic product came in at a modest 0.1% in January, after rising to 0.5% in December. This figure was in line with economists’ expectations as earlier data showed manufacturing shipments and exports had been faltering. The manufacturing and utilities sectors performed strongly in an otherwise weak Canadian economy at the beginning of this year. The manufacturing sector rose 0.7%, its fifth straight advance after an increase output in the durable and non-durable goods sector. The utilities sector rose 1.1% as the colder January increased demand for electricity. These gains were partly offset by a 0.9% drop in oil and gas extraction, “as a notable decrease in natural-gas extraction outweighed the gain in crude-petroleum production,” Statistics Canada said.

Gains were also seen in the finance and insurance sector, wholesale trade and some tourism-related industries. Sectors that contracted in January included forestry and fishing, agriculture, construction and public administration.

Robert Kavcic, economist at BMO Capital Markets said of the results, “Modest January GDP growth is good news given that previous reports flagged some downside risk.” He added, “Overall, though, our views of the Canadian economy and Bank of Canada policy remained unchanged at this point.” An earlier poll forecasted that the central bank would hold interest rates steady at 1.0% until the third quarter of 2013 as it continues to stimulate the economy.

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Related Links:
• Statistics Canada
Gross domestic product by industry
• Bank of Canada
Canada's central bank
• BMO Capital Markets
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