Canada GDP taps the brakes in July; oil extraction, manufacturing down

FILE PHOTO: Condo buildings line both sides of Gardiner Expressway in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 31, 2017. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian economy paused in July on declines in oil extraction and the manufacturing sector, Statistics Canada said on Friday, suggesting the recent strong pace of growth moderated at the start of the third quarter.

Gross domestic product was unchanged in July, missing economists’ expectations for an increase of 0.1 percent and ending eight consecutive months of growth.

While a solid economic performance in the first half of the year has put Canada at the top of the G7 pack and prompted the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates twice, economists expect the hot pace of growth to slow.

A decline in oil extraction in July brought the mining, quarrying and oil sector down 1.2 percent. Mining rose, but support activities for it and oil industries fell.

The manufacturing sector fell 0.4 percent as transportation equipment and vehicle manufacturing decreased. Construction declined 0.5 percent as fewer homes were built, while home improvements were also down.

On the upside, wholesale trade rose 2 percent, the biggest increase since September 2014, on broad-based gains across industries including building materials, and machinery and equipment.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn