Statistics Canada said on Thursday that a surge in exports of energy, aircraft and pharmaceutical products helped propel Canada’s economy higher in the second quarter of this year.
The economy rocketed to an annualized pace of 2.9 percent in the period from April 1 through June 30, compared with a slightly revised annual pace of 1.4 percent in the first three months of 2018, the agency said.
According to Thomson Reuters Eikon, economists had expected an annualized pace of 3.0 percent for the second quarter. Statistics Canada said the sharp hike in growth was mainly the result of higher exports, which saw an increase of 2.9 percent in the quarter. That was the highest growth rate for that category in four years, led by energy exports, which accelerated at a rate of 5.6 percent.
Exports of goods were 6.3 percent higher in the second quarter, driven particularly by pharmaceuticals while exports of aircraft, aircraft parts, and engines grew by 13.4 percent. Service exports edged 0.2 percent lower.
Imports, meanwhile, were higher by 1.6 percent, faster than the 1.0 percent growth rate recorded in the first quarter. Much of that growth was a result of higher refined energy imports to offset an expected shutdown of four Canadian refineries in April and May.
Household spending was also higher, up 0.6 percent in the second quarter, compared with the 0.3 percent growth seen in the first three months of the year. The increase was mainly a result of higher bills for utilities including water, electricity, and gas, and because households were spending more for services such as renovations, up 0.8 percent.