OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian economic growth came crashing down to reality in the fourth quarter after a spurt in the third that was due largely to temporary factors, analysts polled by Reuters estimated on Friday.
The median prediction for the fourth quarter is an annualized rate of 1.8 percent, and only eight of 23 respondents pegged it at or above the 2.0 percent forecast by the Bank of Canada in its January Monetary Policy Report.
"Last year was a see-saw for the economy, with two strong quarters, one outright decline (Q2), and then a mediocre finish in Q4," BMO Capital Markets deputy chief economist Doug Porter said.
Strong consumer spending in October and November and a spurt in exports in November and December were likely tempered by lighter business investment, particularly in inventories.
Statistics Canada will also be releasing monthly GDP data for December, which analysts see rising 0.2 percent, after November's 0.1 percent fall, largely on strength in manufacturing.
The Bank of Canada has predicted mediocre real growth of an annualized 1.8 percent in the first and second quarters before accelerating to 2.1 percent in the third, 2.6 percent in the fourth, and 3.1 percent in the first half of 2013.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson