Statistics Canada says country’s economy grew 0.3 per cent in October

OTTAWA — The manufacturing sector helped the Canadian economy bounce back in October to post better-than-expected growth for the month to kick off the fourth quarter.

Statistics Canada said Friday the economy grew 0.3 per cent in October compared with a contraction of 0.1 per cent in September to end the third quarter.

Economists had expected growth of 0.2 per cent in October, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon.

TD Bank senior economist Brian DePratto said the Canadian economy recorded a solid expansion for the month.

“The breadth of the expansion was particularly encouraging, even as construction activity remained a weak point for a fifth straight month,” DePratto wrote in a note to clients.

He said the breadth of growth will come into play in the months and quarters ahead.

“November saw the worst of the discounts on Canadian oil blends, and voluntary production curtailments are likely to weigh on activity,” DePratto wrote.

“This will sap overall growth, even before mandatory production cuts come into effect in January.”

The Alberta government has mandated oil production cuts starting next year in a bid to help boost the price obtained by Canadian producers.

Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist at the Royal Bank, noted that while the bounce in GDP growth is encouraging, it is not expected to be sustained.

“Activity in November is expected to be weighed down by the Canada Post strike and a weakening in oil prices,” Ferley wrote.

“These factors, along with the disappointing momentum going into Q4, are projected to result in activity in the quarter only rising at an annualized rate of 1.1 per cent.”

Statistics Canada reported growth in 15 of the 20 industrial sectors that it tracked.

The manufacturing sector helped goods-producing industries increase 0.3 per cent after two monthly declines, while services-producing industries also grew 0.3 per cent, their strongest showing since May.

The manufacturing sector grew 0.7 per cent in October, almost fully offsetting declines in August and September.

Meanwhile, the finance and insurance sector rose 0.9 per cent, while the wholesale trade sector gained 1.0 per cent.

In a separate report, Statistics Canada reported retail sales increased 0.3 per cent to $51 billion in October, boosted by higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations.

Economists had expected an increase of 0.4 per cent.

Sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers were up 1.3 per cent, while gasoline stations gained 1.9 per cent in October.

Excluding these two subsectors, overall retail sales fell 0.4 per cent.

The Canadian Press

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