Canada's GDP grew 1.7% in Q4, less than expected: official

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Ottawa (AFP)

Canada's economy grew at a rate of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, failing to meet analysts' expectations as consumer spending waned, the government statistical agency said Friday.

After starting 2017 with a bang that pushed Canada ahead of other Group of Seven (G7) industrialized countries, its economy slowed in the second half of the year.

Analysts had predicted 2.1 percent GDP growth in the last three months of the year, following a 1.7 percent uptick in the third quarter.

The US economy, by comparison, grew 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

According to Statistics Canada, residential construction increased in the quarter, as did business outlays on machinery and equipment -- primarily on aircraft and other transportation equipment.

Household consumption, meanwhile, slowed to 0.5 percent growth, following a 0.9 percent increase in the previous quarter.

Exports rose 0.7 percent after falling in the previous quarter, but were outpaced by a 1.5 percent increase in imports.

For all of 2017, growth accelerated to 3.0 percent, following 1.4 percent growth in 2016.