05/31/2013 08:40 EDT | Updated 07/31/2013 05:12 EDT

Canada GDP Growth Hits Fastest Pace In 6 Quarters, But Domestic Demand Fizzles

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Canada's economy grew at the fastest pace in six quarters in the first three months of this year, exceeding analysts' already optimistic predictions, but Statistics Canada's data shows domestic demand fizzling during the period.

The economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter, StatsCan said, with real GDP for March growing at 0.2 per cent.

But final domestic demand was up only 0.1 per cent, the slowest reading since 2009, when Canada was reeling from a global recession.

The manufacturing sector managed to eke out some growth (up 0.1 per cent), but mining, oil and gas led economic growth, jumping 4.1 per cent in the quarter.

StatsCan said exports were the largest contributor to growth in the quarter. Export volumes increased 1.5 per cent after a gain of 0.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012 and declines in the previous three quarters.

Imports were up slightly by 0.3 per cent after falling 0.8 per cent in the previous quarter.

Consumer spending was up 0.2 per cent, sustained by higher spending on services.

-- With files from The Canadian Press

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