Canada’s November GDP edges up 0.1%, offsetting most of October’s decline

Unseasonably cold weather in Central Canada in November provided an unexpected boost to GDP, driving up utility bills. Cole Burston / The Canadian Press

Canada‘s economy grew 0.1 per cent in November, driven largely by higher utility costs and mostly offsetting October’s surprise decline, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast no change after an unexpected 0.1 per cent decline in October. Goods-producing industries and the services sectors both posted a 0.1 per cent gain. Increases were reported in 15 of the 20 industrial sectors tracked by Statscan.

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Unseasonably cold weather in central Canada caused utilities to jump 2.1 per cent in November, the agency said, the largest gain in more than a year.

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November’s GDP gain also comes despite notable declines in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, as well as the transportation and warehouse sectors, in part because of an eight-day rail strike at Canadian National Railway, Canada‘s largest railway.

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Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, Statscan said, fell 1.4 per cent. Meanwhile, temporary mine closures in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan because of weak international demand caused potash mining to decline 18.2 per cent.

Last week the Bank of Canada, which has sat on the sidelines for more than a year even as several of its counterparts have eased, held its overnight interest rate steady but opened to the door to a possible future cut should a slowdown in domestic growth persist.

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