Canadian economy shrinks again in April

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:36am EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's economy contracted for the ninth straight month in April as the manufacturing, energy and retail industries scaled back activity in the deepest recession since the early 1990s.

Gross domestic product by industry fell 0.1 percent in the month compared with March, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday. The result was in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll but still a downbeat start to the second quarter in which most economists expect the pace of decline to slow.

Total output by all industries in dollar terms was the lowest since October 2006.

Weak foreign demand for Canadian exports led to a 1 percent decline in manufacturing activity, with nondurable goods the hardest hit. Mines and petroleum activity fell 0.5 percent and retail trade was down 0.6 percent. The declines were partially offset by strength in the activities of real estate agents and brokers along with wholesale trade.

The Bank of Canada expects the Canadian economy to shrink 3.5 percent in the second quarter, following a 5.4 percent contraction in the first quarter. The bank will update its projections in July.

(Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)