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PRIYA SHARMA
Century 21 Signature Realty
#207, 2920 Calgary Trail NW, Edmonton, Alberta
P: 780-485-2100
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Monday, March 1, 2010 - Canada's economy expands five per cent in fourth quarter

Canada's economic recovery picked up speed in the final quarter of last year, growing by a better-than-expected annualized rate of five per cent, Statistics Canada reported Monday.

"For a third consecutive quarter, growth in final domestic demand was led by increases in personal expenditures, government expenditures, and investment in residential structures," the federal agency said.

"Export and import volumes both rose for a second consecutive quarter, with growth in exports outpacing that of imports in the fourth quarter."

The country's three-quarter-long recession was officially over in the third quarter of 2009, which saw slight annualized growth in gross domestic product of a 0.9 per cent, revised from an early estimate of 0.4 per cent.

Economists had expected that expansion to accelerate by four per cent in the last three months of the year.

"Canadian household spending and investment have continued to offer significant support to the expansion," said TD Securities economist Diana Petramala ahead of Monday report.

Consumer spending rose 0.9 per cent in the fourth quarter - with households increasing durable goods purchases by 2.6 per cent, led by motor vehicles and household furniture and equipment.

House investment rose 6.5 per cent for the third straight quarter. "Fourth-quarter investment was led by new housing construction (up 7.1 per cent), the first quarterly gain since 2007," Statistics Canad said. "Resale activity and renovations continued the upward trend that began in the second quarter."

The Bank of Canada has left its key lending rate at a record low 0.25 per cent in an effort to encourage economic growth. The central bank is expected to keep interest rates on hold at its Tuesday monetary policy meeting.

posted in News at Mon, 01 Mar 2010 07:23:20 -0700



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