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Pace of economic growth slowed in Q1, Statistics Canada


Statistics Canada reports that real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.3% in the first quarter, following an increase of 0.4% in each of the previous two quarters. Final domestic demand rose by 0.5%.

Growth was moderated by a deceleration in household spending, lower exports of non-energy products and a decline in housing investment (-1.9%).

Gross domestic product and final domestic demand

Export volumes rose 0.4% after increasing 1.0% in the fourth quarter of 2017. Exports of crude oil and crude bitumen (+9.9%) largely contributed to the gains. Exports of services grew 1.7% in the first quarter, following a 1.3% increase in the previous quarter.

Business investment in machinery and equipment (+4.2%) and intellectual property products (+3.3%) increased at a faster pace than in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Household spending grew 0.3%, the slowest pace since the first quarter of 2015. Growth was driven by increased outlays on services (+0.5%). Household spending on goods was unchanged, following 11 consecutive quarterly increases.

Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP was up 1.3% in the first quarter. In comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 2.2%.

For more information, visit www.statcan.gc.ca.