Factory employees work on Ford Crown Victoria vehicles on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at the Ford Assembly Plant in St. Thomas, Ont.The Canadian economy appears to be gathering steam, to the surprise of many, with better-than-expected growth rates in the first two months of the year that have many analysts revising their miserly forecasts for the year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

Economy surprises with 3.7% growth in second quarter, its strongest since 2017

Energy products grew 5.9 per cent after posting a three per cent decline in the first quarter

The economy blew past projections by expanding at an annualized pace of 3.7 per cent in the second quarter, giving Canada its strongest three-month stretch of growth in two years.

Statistics Canada’s reading for real gross domestic product showed an unexpectedly solid turnaround for an economy that was coming off its weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015.

The economy rode a powerful, broad-based rebound in goods exports in the second quarter, the agency said Friday in a new report.

Energy products grew 5.9 per cent after posting a three per cent decline in the first quarter, while farm and fishing products expanded 15.2 per cent following a 8.4 per cent contraction and non-metallic minerals rose 19 per cent for their strongest quarter in almost three years.

Housing investment expanded 1.4 per cent following five-consecutive quarters of declines.

The headline GDP number was also supported by a one per cent drop in import volumes, compared with a 2.1 per cent increase in the first quarter.

READ MORE: Canada’s GDP grows 0.2 per cent in May as manufacturing rebounds: Statcan

The report showed business investment declined 4.3 per cent after a posting 3.4 per cent increase in the first three months of 2019, while household spending slowed to 0.1 per cent, down from 0.7 per cent growth in the previous quarter.

Overall, the second quarter gave Canada its fastest pace of growth since it posted 4.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2017.

Statistics Canada also revised its first-quarter growth number to 0.5 per cent, up slightly from the initial reading of 0.4 per cent.

On a month-to-month basis, the report said the economy expanded 0.2 per cent — Canada’s fourth-straight month of growth.

Experts had been predicting a more modest second-quarter rebound after a sudden deceleration in growth over the winter that nearly saw the economy grind to a halt. The slowdown at the turn of the year was caused in large part by a sharp decrease in oil prices.

Economists had expected growth at an annualized rate of three per cent for the second quarter, according to the financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

The Bank of Canada had predicted the weakness would be temporary and had projected a second-quarter turnaround of 2.3 per cent.

Encouraging numbers about the health of Canada’s domestic economy have been arriving as global economic conditions become more uncertain.

There has been mounting evidence of a slowing global economy — mostly a consequence of the deepening U.S.-China trade war.

The Bank of Canada will be forced to consider the external and trade-related risks next Wednesday when it delivers its latest interest-rate announcement.

The global environment has dimmed since the central bank’s most recent public comments in early July. At the time, it underlined the resilience of the domestic economy and appeared to be in no hurry to adjust its policy, even as other central banks were poised to lower rates to respond to the already darkening international outlook.

Andy Blatchford, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chemainus Theatre offers fall fun with ‘Lumberjacks in Love’

Are you ready for a musical called Lumberjacks in Love? Join the crowd for a fun night out

Roe leads Cowichan contingent at lacrosse Worlds

Defender locks up NLL deal after helping England to fourth

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

2 guitar trios combine for a powerhouse evening of music at Cowichan Theatre

California and Montreal Guitar Trios are coming together to Duncan for a great show

Brothers in Cowichan Valley win big in lottery for 2nd time

Playing same numbers net big wins over a three year period

VIDEO: U.S. officials refute British couple’s ‘accidental’ border-crossing claim

Authorities say couple was arrested after illegal entry from B.C., with $16,000 and marijuana

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

One person hurt in crash at busy Nanaimo intersection

Minivan, sport utility vehicle collide at old Island Highway, Bowen Road and Norwell Drive

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

Most Read