Canadian economic growth slowed to 1.8% in 2018

Decline mainly reflected a drop in investment spending. Exports of goods and services also edged down: StatsCan

The Canadian economy slowed to 0.1 per cent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2018, the slowest pace since the second quarter of 2016, says Statistics Canada.

The federal agency reported Friday that annual growth was 1.8 per cent for the Canadian economy in 2018 following three per cent growth in 2017.

In comparison, real GDP in the United States grew 2.9 per cent in 2018.

“The slowing of GDP in Canada in the fourth quarter mainly reflected a 2.7 per cent drop in investment spending. Exports of goods and services (-0.1 per cent) also edged down,” it said.

“Household spending slowed for the second consecutive quarter, edging up 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter following a 0.3 per cent increase in the third quarter. … Housing investment fell 3.9 per cent as the market continued to soften, with the largest decrease in new construction (-5.5 per cent), followed by renovations (-2.7 per cent) and ownership transfer costs (-2.6 per cent).

“Overall business investment in non-residential structures, and machinery and equipment fell 2.9 per cent, the sharpest drop since the fourth quarter of 2016. Business investment in non-residential buildings declined 3.1 per cent, while investment in engineering structures fell 4.3 per cent, following a 3.1 per cent decline in the previous quarter. Machinery and equipment investment decreased 1.2 per cent, after a 3.9 per cent decline in the third quarter.”

– Mario Toneguzzi


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