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Jul 28, 2017

Canada's economy blows past estimates with 4.6% growth


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OTTAWA - Canada's economy accelerated in May on growth in the energy, manufacturing and retail trade sectors, Statistics Canada said on Friday, in a report that pointed to strong momentum in the economy in the second quarter.

“Canadian real GDP just keeps right on rolling with a honking 0.6 per cent rise in May,” wrote BMO Capital Markets Chief Economist Douglas Porter in a report to clients.

The loonie surged on the news, jumping back above the 80-cent plateau to close Friday's trading day up 0.77 cents at 80.39 U.S. cents.

The gain exceeded economists' forecasts for 0.2 per cent, while April was unrevised at 0.2 per cent. 

The report could bolster expectations for another interest rate hike from the Bank of Canada, which earlier this month raised rates for the first time in nearly seven years.

“The hits just keep on coming for the Canadian economy,” Porter added. “With this powerful momentum, even if some of it is a passing phase, it will take a lot to knock the Bank of Canada off its gradual tightening path.”

The country's goods-producing industries led the growth, rising 1.6 per cent. Oil and gas extraction surged 7.6 per cent as activity at a facility in Alberta recovered after a fire and explosion in March that caused production difficulties, the statistics agency said.

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The mining, oil and gas extraction sector accounted for nearly 0.4 percentage point of May's overall economic growth.

Manufacturing activity rose 1.1 per cent, driven by makers of petroleum and coal products, as well as motor vehicles and parts. Higher vehicle sales at new and used car dealers helped the retail sector grow by 0.9 percent.

But the recent slowdown in Toronto home sales was starting to weigh on economic growth, with activity at offices of real estate agents and brokers tumbling 6.3 per cent.

-- With files from BNN



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