The Canadian economy grew 0.4 percent in February, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday, a sign that first-quarter growth could be stronger than the Bank of Canada is predicting.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had forecast February gross domestic product would increase by 0.3 percent after shrinking 0.1 percent in January.
The output of goods-producing industries expanded by 1.2 percent as the mining and oil and gas extraction sector recovered from unscheduled maintenance shutdowns at some oil sands facilities.
Services-producing industries edged up 0.1 percent as increases in most sectors offset declines in wholesale trade and real estate.
Even if March’s GDP figures are flat, Statistics Canada analysis shows that annualized first quarter growth would be 1.6 percent, greater than the 1.3 percent in the Bank of Canada’s latest forecast on April 18.
The central bank, which has raised interest rates three times since last July as the economy strengthens, says future hikes will depend heavily on economic data. Governor Stephen Poloz is due to make a speech later on Tuesday.