OTTAWA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - The Canadian economy expanded at a surprisingly strong annualized rate of 3.7% in the second quarter, a pace much higher than the Bank of Canada had predicted, thanks to a resurgence in goods exports, Statistics Canada data indicated on Friday.
The central bank, which in July had predicted second quarter growth of 2.3%, is set to release its next interest rate decision on Sept 4. Most analysts think the Bank of Canada will stay on the sidelines on Wednesday, the last rate decision expected before Canadians vote in a national election on Oct 21.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted annualized second quarter growth of 3.0%.
On Friday, Statistics Canada revised its first quarter annualized GDP figure upwards to 0.5% from 0.4%. Canada’s second quarter growth also outpaced that of the United States, its largest trading partner, which saw an increase of 2.0% in the same quarter, the agency added.
Statscan said exports of goods jumped 3.7% in the second quarter, on higher exports of energy, farm and fishing products, and non-metallic minerals. Exports of services rose 1.1%, maintaining the pace seen in the first quarter. Business investment declined 1.6%, while consumer spending slowed to 0.1%.
June’s gross domestic product rose 0.2%, the same rate seen in May, marking the fourth consecutive month of increases, the national statistical agency said, because of higher growth in the service-producing industries.
Reporting by Kelsey Johnson; Editing by Dale Smith and Chizu Nomiyama