Canada's Economy Grows 0.5% in Q1

Canada's real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.5% in the first quarter, the same pace as in the previous quarter. Business investment contributed the most to first-quarter GDP growth. Final domestic demand grew 0.3%. On a monthly basis, real GDP by industry edged up 0.1% in March., Statistics Canada 6/1/2012 1:56:47 PM

As was the case throughout 2011, business investment continued to fuel growth. Business investment in plant and equipment advanced 1.2%, the ninth consecutive quarterly increase. Housing investment expanded 2.9%, well above the previous quarter's pace of 0.8%. Non-farm business inventories increased in the first quarter.

Consumer spending on goods and services, another main contributor to GDP growth in 2011, slowed to 0.2% in the first quarter of 2012, after a 0.7% gain in the previous quarter.

In the first quarter, final domestic demand advanced 0.3%. Growth in final domestic demand has been slowing since the first quarter of 2011. Average quarterly growth in final domestic demand was 0.5% in 2011, following 1.1% in 2010.

While exports have been increasing since the second quarter of 2011, they remain below the level reached in the third quarter of 2008. Exports grew 0.6% in the first quarter of 2012, after gaining 1.7% in the previous quarter.

Imports rose 1.1% in the first quarter, almost double the pace of the fourth quarter of 2011.