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Canada’s growth tops forecasts

Reuters Oct 31, 2011 – 8:31 AM ET | Last Updated: Oct 31, 2011 8:43 AM ET

OTTAWA — Canada’s economy gained momentum for the third straight month in August as output in the energy sector expanded at the fastest clip in eight months, confirming expectations of solid third-quarter growth.

Gross domestic product climbed 0.3% from the previous month as oil and gas extraction surged, Statistics Canada said on Monday, beating market expectations of 0.2% growth. Year-on-year growth was 2.4%.

Statscan’s revised data showed monthly GDP grew 0.4% in July. On a quarterly basis, GDP shrank 0.4%, annualized, in the second quarter but the central bank and private sector economists predict a rebound in the third-quarter with about 2% growth.

Other contributors to growth in August were the finance and insurance sector, retail trade and construction. Sectors that shrank included manufacturing, wholesale trade, utilities and some tourism-related industries.

Both the Bank of Canada and the government sharply cut their growth forecasts last week for this year to about 2% from closer to 3% previously.

Statscan will release its quarterly GDP figures on Nov. 30. Quarterly data is expenditure-based while the monthly GDP data is based on industry output.

© Thomson Reuters 2011

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