OTTAWA - The economy grew faster than expected in November, rising 0.3% after a tepid 0.1% rise in October and no gain in September, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
The median forecast in a Reuters survey of economists was for a 0.2% rise, though eight of the 21 analysts surveyed predicted an increase of at least 0.3%. Taken to the second decimal place, the rise was 0.28%. The data was adjusted for seasonal factors such as Christmas shopping.
In the details for the month, Statscan said: “Most major industrial sectors increased production in November.”
Manufacturing was up 0.7% after a 0.9% decline in October. Oil and gas extraction grew 0.8%, with crude rising and natural gas declining.
The number improves the outlook for the fourth quarter, which economists had repeatedly downgraded after a relatively strong first half of 2012. The Bank of Canada this month predicted annualized fourth quarter growth of 1%.
“It is suggesting some strength as we go through the fourth quarter,” said Paul Ferley at Royal Bank of Canada.
Still, due to the weak start in October, the quarter would still be sub-potential at roughly 1%, he said.
“This data argues in favour of the Bank (of Canada) remaining on the sidelines,” he said, pointing to a weak picture for inflation and jobs.