The Canadian economy grew by 0.1% in September, following the same growth in the previous month. Services reported growth of 0.2%, slightly outpacing growth in goods (+0.1%). There were gains in 13 of 20 industries, with increases in wholesale trade and construction offset in part by lower activity in rail transportation. Activity at offices of real estate agents and brokers increased 1.2% in September, rising for the seventh consecutive month, primarily due to higher housing resale activity in Vancouver and Fraser Valley.
Rounding out the third quarter, Canada's economy grew by 1.3%, led by strong business investment (+2.6%) and household spending (+0.4%), while exports were down by 0.4% and imports were unchanged. Of note was growth in housing investment (+3.2%), which recorded the fastest pace since the first quarter of 2012. The increase was driven by both new home construction (mostly detached homes in Ontario) and higher ownership transfer costs from resales activity in B.C. and Ontario.
We expect growth in the Canadian economy will moderate to around 1.5 per cent in the second half of 2019 after posting strong second quarter growth and will post trend growth of about 1.8 per cent in 2020. Significant downside risks remain due to elevated trade tensions and their consequent impact on exports and business investment.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.