The Canadian economy got off to a fast start in 2016 as real GDP expanded 0.6 per cent in the month of January, the fourth consecutive monthly increase. Output was led higher by gains in the manufacturing, oil and gas extraction, retail trade and finance industries. Given the strong start to the quarter, economic growth is tracking at a more than 3 per cent rate for the first quarter.
The Canadian economy grew just over 1 per cent for all of 2015 and so the strong start to the year is a welcome turn of events. However, with oil and other commodity prices still low, it is too early to say whether 2016 will see continued strong growth. That said, we do anticipate a stronger economy this year, helped along by a strengthening US economy, a low dollar and fiscal stimulus that should start having an effect during the second half of 2016.