November 30, 2016 / 1:52 PM / in 9 months

UPDATE 1-Canada economy rebounds in 3rd quarter as exports gain

(Adds details from report)

OTTAWA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Canada's economy accelerated in the third quarter at its fastest pace in more than two years, benefiting from a rebound in oil exports and continued consumer spending, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday.

Gross domestic product grew at an annualized 3.5 percent, slightly exceeding economists' expectations of 3.4 percent and picking up from a contraction of 1.3 percent in the second quarter.

Last quarter brought the strongest pace of expansion since the second quarter of 2014 and topped the Bank of Canada's forecast for 3.2 percent growth. The economy has struggled to regain sustained momentum since it fell into a brief recession early last year, when it was hit by a drop in oil prices.

Growth in exports supported the economy in the third quarter. Exports of energy products recovered from second- quarter weakness resulting from wildfires in northern Alberta and scheduled maintenance.

Exports of services and consumer goods gained, while increases in household consumption and inventories also boosted broader growth.

But the long support the economy has received from the housing sector faltered as business investment in residential structures contracted. A decline in ownership transfer costs contributed the most to the decline after a Vancouver tax on home purchases by overseas buyers took effect in August.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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