Econ­omy ex­pands slightly in Novem­ber

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - BUSINESS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Cana­dian eco­nomic growth crawled back into pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory in Novem­ber, show­ing its first sign of life in the monthly data since the sum­mer.

The lat­est read­ing for the coun­try's real gross do­mes­tic prod­uct showed that the econ­omy ex­panded 0.3 per cent in Novem­ber, an in­crease af­ter zero growth in Oc­to­ber and a con­trac­tion of 0.5 per cent in Septem­ber, Sta­tis­tics Canada said Fri­day.

It was the first time the econ­omy grew since Au­gust, when there was a ra­zor-thin in­crease of 0.1 per cent.

“It was a drama-free re­lease - fi­nally,” said Jimmy Jean, se­nior econ­o­mist with Des­jardins.

“Af­ter a cou­ple of months of dif­fi­cult eco­nomic per­for­mance, now we have fi­nally a GDP re­port that we can deem as sat­is­fac­tory.”

Novem­ber's GDP growth was mostly due to in­creased ac­tiv­ity in retail and whole­sale trade, en­ergy ex­trac­tion and man­u­fac­tur­ing, the fed­eral agency said.

Whole­sale trade bounced back to ex­pand 1.3 per cent in Novem­ber af­ter shrink­ing for four straight months.

Growth in retail trade in­creased 1.2 per cent fol­low­ing an Oc­to­ber con­trac­tion of 0.2 per cent, while man­u­fac­tur­ing saw an in­crease of 0.4 per cent af­ter fall­ing for two con­sec­u­tive months, Sta­tis­tics Canada said.

Jean pointed to all th­ese gains as sig­nals that the pos­i­tives the Bank of Canada has been hop­ing for could be start­ing to ma­te­ri­al­ize.

Over­all nat­u­ral re­sources ex­trac­tion rose 0.6 per cent in Novem­ber. Oil and gas ex­trac­tion in­creased 2.1 per cent to help off­set the weight of the min­ing and quar­ry­ing com­po­nent, which de­clined 2.3 per cent.

Down­ward pres­sure on GDP - a broad mea­sure of the econ­omy - also came from the fi­nance and in­sur­ance sec­tor, which con­tracted 0.3 per cent for its fourth straight monthly de­cline.

The GDP read­ing was re­leased as Canada limps through the net neg­a­tive ef­fects of a com­mod­ity price shock that be­gan in late 2014.

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