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Canadian Economy Grew Twice as Fast as U.S. Counterpart in 1st Quarter 2011

Canada's economy grew 3.9 percent at an annualized pace in first quarter 2011 (January through March), announced Statistics Canada yesterday. That's the fastest growth rate in a year--and more than double the rate in the United States. (By comparison, U.S. real GDP only grew 1.8 percent that same quarter.)

The Canadian statistical agency noted that during this three-month period, businesses replenished inventories and boosted investment spending, exports rose, and government spending stalled,.

Another take on the data analysis is that Canada's real GDP expanded by 1 percent; faster than the 0.8 percent expansion rate posted the last three months of 2010.

In this first quarter exports increased 1.6 percent (following a a 2.1 percent increase in fourth quarter 2010), while imports grew 2.2 percent (after edging down 0.1 percent in the previous quarter).

All major industrial sectors increased their output , with the notable exception of retail trade and arts, entertainment and recreation, added Statstics Canada. "Goods production rose 1.8 percent while service-producing industries increased 0.7 percent. Manufacturing as well as mining and oil and gas extraction were the largest contributors to growth. Construction, transportation and wholesale trade also recorded notable increases."

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