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Bleak GDP will push inflation fears to the back burner Add to ...

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Forget those thoughts that the Bank of Canada might turn more hawkish on its interest rate outlook. Canada’s first-quarter gross domestic product report is a veritable playground for rate-policy doves.

Almost nothing in this report, released this morning by Statistics Canada, is encouraging. First-quarter GDP was up a thin 1.2-per-cent-annualized rate, the slowest growth since the 2012 fourth quarter. Disturbingly, final domestic demand (the combination of personal spending, government spending and business investment) fell 0.1 per cent – its first decline since the Great Recession, and its first decline outside of a recession in nearly 20 years.

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