Canada's gross domestic product expanded by 0.3 per cent in February, the same pace as the previous month, as the mining, oil and gas industries drove growth.

Statistics Canada said Tuesday that goods-producing industries expanded by 0.9 per cent in the month owing mainly to increases in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction. Take out that sector’s growth, and top line GDP grew by about 0.17 per cent, Scotiabank economist Derek Holt noted.

"An unquestionably solid report, which changes the picture somewhat with respect to the first quarter," Desjardins economist Jimmy Jean said of the numbers.

Strong quarterly growth

Canadian economy is on track to expand at a 2.3 per cent pace in the first quarter, the fastest pace of growth since early 2011. That's about what the Bank of Canada has been forecasting for a while, but the central bank has had a much more optimistic view of late than many private-sector economists.

Construction, utilities, as well as the agriculture and forestry sector also grew.

The service industry eked out an expansion of 0.1 per cent. A source of strength within that was the arts and entertainment industry, which StatsCan says increased by 3.3 per cent. In January, it saw four per cent growth. In both instances, the increase was tied to the end of the NHL lockout.

The Canadian dollar gained more than half a cent to trade at 99.4 cents US at midday.