Canada’s economy accelerated at its fastest pace in more than two years in the second quarter, fresh evidence the country could be emerging from a period of uninspiring growth.
Gross domestic product expanded at an annual rate of 3.1 per cent in the second quarter, led by exports and household spending, Statistics Canada reported Friday. GDP grew 0.3 per cent in June from May, Statscan said.
Both figures were stronger than most on Bay Street were expecting. The consensus forecast was for growth at a 2.5-per-cent rate in the quarter and a 0.2-per-cent gain in June from May. Revisions left the first quarter even more disappointing than the sluggish annual rate of 1.2 per cent that Statscan first reported. The agency now says GDP grew at annual rate of 0.9 per cent over the first three months of the year, reflecting a difficult winter that slowed trade and weighed on household spending.
Canada’s economy is getting a lift from demand in the United States, where GDP surged to an annual growth rate of 4.2 per cent in the second quarter. Exports, which the Bank of Canada says are central to the economy rediscovering its vigour, jumped 4.2 per cent from the first quarter, reversing a small decline over the first three months of the year. (At an annual rate, exports surged 17.8 per cent.) Household consumption increased 0.7 per cent from the first quarter.