Canadian economy stronger than thought in first-half of 2014

Statscan revises growth figures

OTTAWA (Reuters) — The Canadian economy grew at a stronger pace in the first half of the year than previously thought, revised data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

The revised figures raised second-quarter growth in gross domestic product to 3.6 per cent from the 3.1 per cent first reported by Statscan. The agency revised first-quarter growth slightly higher, to one per cent from 0.9 per cent.

"The revisions show a slightly brighter picture in the rear-view mirror for the first half of the year, a bit of an offset to the disappointments we've seen in the current quarter GDP figures," Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets wrote in a note.

Growth reports for the first two months of the third quarter have shown activity flat in July and contracting in August. Shenfeld said the two months of data for the quarter point to growth "a shade under two per cent".

The upward second-quarter revisions give additional support to the view that the expected slowdown in third-quarter growth will be temporary, Nathan Janzen, economist at RBC, wrote in a note. RBC forecasts growth will rebound to 2.7 per cent in the final quarter of the year.

Wednesday's revisions also showed the economy finished 2013 on a stronger note than initially thought, with growth for the fourth quarter coming in at 2.9 per cent, firmer than the 2.7 per cent that was originally reported.

Statscan revised economic growth figures from the first quarter of 2011 to the second quarter of 2014 on Wednesday.

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