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Canadian economy expands 3.7% — strongest quarterly growth stretch since 2017

The Canadian flag is illuminated by morning light atop the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The economy blew past projections by expanding at an annualized pace of 3.7 per cent in the second quarter, giving Canada its strongest three-month stretch of growth in two years.

Statistics Canada’s latest reading for real gross domestic product shows an unexpectedly solid turnaround for an economy that was coming off its weakest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2015.

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The agency says the economy rode a powerful, broad-based rebound in goods exports in the second quarter — led by robust growth in energy products, farming and fishing products, non-metallic minerals and aircraft products.

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The report says the headline GDP number was also supported by a one per cent drop in import volumes, compared with a 2.1 per cent increase in the first quarter.

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Experts had been predicting a more modest rebound for Canada following its weak first-quarter growth — which was revised up to 0.5 per cent.

Economists had expected growth at an annualized rate of three per cent for the second quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

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