OTTAWA, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Canada’s economy grew 0.1% in November, driven largely by higher utility costs and mostly offsetting October’s surprise decline, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast no change after an unexpected 0.1% decline in October. Goods-producing industries and the services sectors both posted a 0.1% gain. Increases were reported in 15 of the 20 industrial sectors tracked by Statscan.
Unseasonably cold weather in central Canada caused utilities to jump 2.1% in November, the agency said, the largest gain in more than a year.
November’s GDP gain also comes despite notable declines in mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, as well as the transportation and warehouse sectors, in part because of an eight-day rail strike at Canadian National Railway, Canada’s largest railway.
Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction, Statscan said, fell 1.4%. Meanwhile, temporary mine closures in the Western Canadian province of Saskatchewan because of weak international demand caused potash mining to decline 18.2%.
Last week the Bank of Canada, which has sat on the sidelines for more than a year even as several of its counterparts have eased, held its overnight interest rate steady but opened to the door to a possible future cut should a slowdown in domestic growth persist.
Reporting by Kelsey Johnson in Ottawa; Editing by Dale Smith and Steve Orlofsky
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