Economy expands 1.7% in Q4 to cap off 2017 at 3% GDP
Growth in the fourth quarter was driven by a 2.3% increase in business investment.
OTTAWA — The Canadian economy expanded at a pace of 1.7% over the final three months of 2017, a rate that was below the rapid growth seen in the first half of the year, Statistics Canada reported.
The agency’s latest numbers for real gross domestic product showed the economy grew 3% for all of 2017, which was a much-stronger pace than 2016 when growth was 1.4%.
The fourth-quarter expansion of 1.7% came in higher than growth in the third quarter, which was revised to 1.5% from 1.7%.
Growth in the fourth quarter was driven by a 2.3% increase in business investment compared with the third quarter, and a 0.5% quarter-over-quarter rise in household spending, the report said.
For all of 2017, the agency said household spending easily made the biggest contribution to growth, followed by inventory and business investment. Exports also grew for the second-straight year with gains in both goods and services.
“Much of this growth was attributable to the first two quarters of 2017, with deceleration observed toward the end of year,” the report said.
The 3% figure for 2017 matches the projection by private-sector economists that was included in the Feb. 27 federal budget. The budget also predicts real GDP growth of 2.2% in 2018 and 1.6%.
Statcan revised its real GDP numbers upward for the first and second quarters of 2017.
For the first quarter, the estimate was increased to four per cent from 3.7%; for the second quarter, revised growth was 4.4%, up from its initial reading of 4.3%.
By industry throughout 2017, the report said the growth was “widespread” with 18 of the 20 sectors showing increases.
Goods-producing industries expanded 4.6 per cent, compared to two-straight annual contractions of 0.5% in 2016 and 1.7% in 2015. The biggest contribution to growth from the goods-producing industries in 2017 came from natural resources extraction, which expanded 7.8%.
Services industries expanded 2.8% last year for their highest pace of growth since 2011. It was led by a 7.5% boost from the wholesale-trade sector.
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