Canadian Plastics

Better-than-expected economic growth in early 2013: StatsCan

In the first welcome economic news in several weeks, Canada's economy grew 0.3 per cent in February, the same pace as January, led by mining, and oil and gas extraction, Statistics Canada said in a new report.

May 1, 2013   Canadian Plastics

In the first welcome economic news in several weeks, Canada’s economy grew 0.3 per cent in February, the same pace as January, led by mining, and oil and gas extraction, Statistics Canada said in a new report.

Goods production expanded by 0.9 per cent, led by potash mining, energy extraction, and manufacturing. Output in service industries grew by 0.1 percent, mainly due to a rebound in the arts and entertainment sector.

But while the growth beat many economists’ expectations, it’s still best to take the news with a few grains of salt. “Growth has improved in the first quarter but we’re talking about pretty disappointing growth numbers for the second half of last year,” said Paul Ferley, RBC Economics assistant chief economist. “We still have more work to be done in terms of building even stronger growth as we move through the remainder of this year.”

Ferley said that many analysts now are predicting annualized growth rates of up to 2.5 per cent for the first three months of the year, a pace that would make it the strongest in more than a year.

According to StatsCan, the results suggest some of the recent weakness, particularly in the resource sector, was due to temporary production difficulties. That sector rebounded strongly to 2.2 per cent growth in February, led by mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.

It was fifth consecutive month of growth for the industries. As well, manufacturing rose 0.8 per cent in February, StatsCan said, building on a 0.6 per cent gain the previous month.


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