Statistics Canada data show that exports dropped 2.7% while growth was driven by household spending (1%) although this was largely due to spending by Canadians abroad.
Investment in housing weakened by 0.4% following a 0.9% decline in the previous quarter, the first time since 2013 that housing investment has declined in two consecutive quarters.
Ownership transfer costs were down 4.7%, renovations were down 0.2% and investment in new construction was up 1.7%.
The Conference Board of Canada’s analysis of the data says that the report was no surprise as GDP growth was expected to ease. It also highlights the continued strength of Canada’s economy overall.
“While consumption is expected to weaken as consumers battle higher debt loads, the strong labour market is supportive of continued, albeit softer, spending growth. With unemployment reaching its lowest rate since 2008 and wage growth accelerating, we continue to expect a gradual tightening in monetary policy from the Bank of Canada,” said deputy chief economist Pedro Antunes.
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Canada’s economic growth slowed to 0.4% in the third quarter of 2017 from 1.0% in the second quarter, an annualized rate of 1.7%.