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The Canadian economy expanded at an annualized rate of 0.4% in the third quarter, compared with a 2.8% increase for the US economy.
Business investment in machinery and equipment grew 5.9% in the third quarter, following five quarters of decline. Outlays on motor vehicles and industrial machinery led the surge. Businesses reduced investment in non-residential structures by 3.6%, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline. (Click here for more information on nonresidential construction.)
Investment in residential structures advanced for a second consecutive quarter. Investment in new housing construction fell 4.2%, following steeper declines in the first two quarters of the year. Renovation activity grew 2.8%, similar to the second quarter increase. (Click here for more information on residential construction.)
Government investment in buildings and engineering projects grew by 5.6%, the fourth consecutive quarter in which growth has been 4% or higher.
Exports of goods and services advanced 3.6% in the third quarter, the first increase since the second quarter of 2007. A 28% jump in exports of automotive products was the major contributor to the overall strength. Nonetheless, automobile exports were 29% lower than the third quarter of 2008. Energy product exports were up 9.2% in the quarter.
Non-farm inventories were drawn down for the third consecutive quarter. Manufacturing inventories were the main contributor to the draw down.
The economy wide stock-to-sales ratio edged down, reversing the upward trend of the previous five quarters. Businesses held inventories equivalent to 69 days of sales, down from 71 days in the second quarter.
The output of services-producing industries increased 0.6%, with the wholesale and retail trade sectors and real estate agents and brokers leading the way. Goods-producing industries (-1.4%) continued their downward trend that started in the third quarter of 2007, with the mining and oil and gas extraction contributing the most to the decrease as a result of temporary shutdowns.
The 1.1% increase in manufacturing output was widespread, with 15 of the 21 major groups advancing. Notable increases were recorded in the manufacturing of primary metals, beverage and tobacco products, plastics and rubber products as well as transportation equipment.
The price of goods and services produced in Canada was up 0.8%, following a small increase in the second quarter. The price of final domestic demand edged down 0.1% in the third quarter, as prices for machinery and equipment fell 3.3%. Prices for consumer goods and services rose 0.2%.
Construction activity was up 0.2% in September. Residential building construction and engineering and repairs work rose, while non-residential building construction retreated. Increased activity in the home resale market translated into a 2.8% advance in the output of real estate agents and brokers.
More data available from Statistics Canada.