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Canada’s economy expands 0.3% in November, fastest pace in 7 months

File photo of work being done on a condominium construction site in Toronto.

Deborah Baic/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail

The Canadian economy expanded 0.3 per cent in November, its strongest showing in more than half a year as factories and natural resources firms ramped up activity.

The country's gross domestic product tallied its fastest growth since April, picking up from a tepid 0.1-per-cent showing in October, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The annual rate was 1.3 per cent.

The goods side of the economy led the better-than-expected monthly growth, with manufacturers, miners and energy companies adding to GDP. Retail trade also rose, while the accommodation and food along with the finance sector declined.

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"After many months of floundering growth, the Canadian economy sparked back to life in November," said Emanuella Enenajor, economist at CIBC World Markets, in a note.

"Over all, an upbeat report suggesting that economic activity picked up from its fall doldrums, although still lagging potential output growth."

Still, activity isn't enough to alter the Bank of Canada's downgraded forecast of a sluggish fourth quarter, noted Krishen Rangasamy, senior economist at National Bank Financial. The central bank now expects fourth-quarter growth of 1 per cent at an annual rate.

November's reading "is unlikely to prompt a rethink at the BoC of its recent dovish turn."

Goods production led November's gains, expanding 0.6 per cent, while the services side of the economy grew 0.1 per cent.

Economists polled by Bloomberg News had anticipated monthly expansion of 0.2 per cent and a year-over-year rate of 1.4 per cent.

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About the Author

Tavia Grant has worked at The Globe and Mail since early 2005, covering topics from employment and currency markets to trade, microfinance and Latin American economies. She previously worked for Bloomberg News in Toronto and Zurich, writing on mining, stocks, currencies and secret Swiss bank accounts. More

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