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Canada posts 2.5% growth in first quarter

Exports highlight performance which beats 2.2% expert forecast

Gulf News

Ottawa: Canada’s economy accelerated in the first quarter, growing 2.5 per cent, the fastest pace in nearly two years, the government statistical agency announced on Friday.

“Exports were the largest contributor to growth in the quarter,” Statistics Canada said in a statement, while domestic demand only edged up. Consumer spending on services was higher but overall it was weakest since 2009.

Analysts had expected growth of 2.2 per cent on the heels of a 1.8 per cent hike in gross domestic product for all of 2012.

Exports turned around after last year’s weak showing, led by higher foreign sales of energy products, metal and non-metallic mineral products and consumer goods, Statistics Canada said.

Exports of transportation and travel services also increased.

However, exports of aircraft, cars and car parts, commercial services, and farm and fishing products fell.

Canadians spent more on footwear and furnishings, household equipment and other goods and services related to dwellings, as well as on vehicles, but less on vehicle operations and transport services, electricity, gas and other fuels, and recreation and culture.

Expenditures by Canadians travelling abroad also declined.