Business

Canadian economic growth slows to crawl

The growth rate of the Canadian economy slowed to a crawl in the fourth quarter of 2011, Statistics Canada says.

Consumer spending, exports contribute to 4th-quarter GDP

Oil and gas extraction boosted fourth-quarter economic growth, Statistics Canada said. (Canadian Press)

The growth rate of the Canadian economy slowed to a crawl in the fourth quarter of 2011, Statistics Canada reported Friday.

At an annual rate, real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, after a 4.2 per cent increase in the third quarter.

The actual growth in the quarter was 0.4 per cent, compared with one per cent in the third quarter, the agency said.

The annualized growth rate was what economists had been expecting.

Although there was "no surprise" at the headline number, some underlying numbers —such as consumption growth and business investment — were stronger than expected, said Emanuella Enenajor of CIBC World Markets.

"Consumer spending and exports contributed the most to fourth-quarter GDP growth," Statistics Canada said.

Both goods and services industries grew, led by manufacturing, retail trade, and oil and gas extraction.

Enenajor said growth of 0.4 per cent in December was stronger than expected, and bodes well for growth in the current quarter.

U.S. GDP grew three per cent in the fourth quarter.

 

now