03/02/2012 09:06 EST

Canada GDP Growth Slows In Fourth Quarter Of 2011: StatsCan


OTTAWA -- Statistics Canada says the pace of economic growth slowed to 0.4 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2011 after a third-quarter increase of 1.0 per cent.

The agency says consumer spending and exports contributed the most to growth in the final period of the year.

For 2011 as a whole, real GDP grew 2.5 per cent, compared with a 3.2 per cent increase in 2010.

Consumer spending on goods and services grew by 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from the 0.4 per cent gain in the previous quarter.

Business investment in plant and equipment rose by two per cent, for an eighth consecutive quarterly increase.

Housing investment slowed to 0.8 per cent in the quarter, well below the 2.5 per cent increase in the third quarter.

Exports rose 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter, down from a 3.8 per cent gain in the third quarter and imports rose 0.5 per cent, after falling 0.4 per cent in the previous three months.

All major industrial sectors grew in 2011, except arts, entertainment and recreation.

Production of goods grew 3.6 per cent while services expanded 2.2 per cent.

Mining and oil and gas extraction, construction, the public sector (education, health services and public administration combined) and manufacturing were the main contributors to overall growth.

Wholesale trade, retail trade, and the finance and insurance sector also posted gains.

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