OTTAWA, Ont. — According to Statistics Canada, gross domestic product (GDP) advanced a further 0.5 per cent in February.
This follows a sizeable 0.6 per cent increase in January. These were the largest back-to-back monthly increases since the end of 1999.
Most areas of the economy reported gains in February, but the manufacturing sector provided the single largest push. Although demand eased for consumer goods and services, increased demand for new and existing housing generated higher output in many industries.
The forestry sector and wood product manufacturers expanded output significantly, as they benefited from both a strong domestic housing market and the removal of duties on softwood lumber exports to the U.S. (However, new duties will take effect in May.)
Consumers took a bit of a breather in February; retail sales edged down slightly. However, sales by motor vehicle dealers remained 17 per cent above those of February 2001.
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