Canada's GDP Up 3.8% First Quarter

Economic activity in Canada picked up in the first quarter of 2006 as real gross domestic product rose 0.9% on the continued strength in investment and personal expenditures, Statistics Canada said May 31.

The economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.8% in the first quarter, compared to 2.6% in the previous quarter, the government agency said. "A jump in household demand, particularly consumer spending on durables and housing, was behind most of the first quarter advance," Statistics Canada said.

Manufacturers continued to battle the effects of the rapidly increasing Canadian dollar, and growing international competition.

Exports declined slightly, mainly automotive, forestry and industrial goods, and production declined in the mining, utilities and non-durable manufacturing sectors.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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