Gross domestic product (GDP) advanced 0.2% in November, after rising 0.3% in October, Statistics Canada reports. With these two increases, the economy has regained slightly more than one-half the ground it lost in September.
Sharply higher auto sales lifted the retail industry and provided the single largest push to the economy in November. Strong sales of computer equipment boosted wholesaling activity. Travel-related industries expanded for the second month in a row. Residential construction activity continued its upward trend as mortgage rates continued to fall. However, lower energy prices reduced oil and gas exploration activity. Manufacturing output declined slightly – the recent upswing in transportation equipment was negated by still-eroding demand for telecommunications and electronic equipment investment.
Retail sales surged for the second consecutive month, rising 2.1% in November. Sharply higher new motor vehicle sales were the impetus; interest-free financing helped bring consumers into new car showrooms. Sales at automotive dealers surged 7.3% in November, the largest monthly increase since December 1997.
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