Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Canada's Economic Growth Triples U.S.'s

Debra Rodriguez | 01 June, 2017, 02:21

GDP also got a boost from household spending, up 1.1%, and a C$12.25 billion buildup in business inventories, or the largest such accumulation in stockpiles in over a dozen years.

"The economy is firming, and it's managed to deal with the shocks it has had to absorb", said Ted Mallett, chief economist at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, a small-business lobby.

Overall, Canada's economy expanded at an annual pace of almost four per cent in the first quarter of 2017 - more than triple the rate of GDP growth in the United States over the same period. Nevertheless, we can take comfort that GDP now has grown at an average annual rate of 3.5 per cent over the past three quarters, matching the average quarterly rate in 2013.

Economists were projecting a 4.2 percent first-quarter annualized pace and 0.2 percent gain in March. It raised concerns about household debt and the possibility of a correction in the housing market.

It suggested a further tightening of tax-based measures to mitigate speculative investment in the housing sector and called for greater co-ordination between federal and provincial regulators.

However, Porter noted that exports were an area of key weakness in the GDP report.

The surge in first-quarter expansion means Canada has shifted from being a laggard among major industrialized economies, as it struggled under lower commodity prices, to emerging as a growth leader. Investment in non-residential structures, along with machinery and equipment, posted only its second quarterly gain since 2014, growing an annualized 10.3 percent.

Meanwhile, consumers continued to spend, particularly on vehicles.

"That is to me the one serious blemish in this report", he said.

However, most analysts expect the current rapid pace of economic growth to slow in the coming quarters.

Q1 growth was not significantly different than the Bank of Canada's 3.8% forecast and there are still plenty of risks to the outlook, particularly from potential US trade disruptions. The figures for the third and fourth quarters were increased to 4.2 per cent and 2.7 per cent compared to earlier readings of 3.8 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively.

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