Behind the Headlines: February, 2007

Article Excerpt

The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 3.5% in the fourth quarter of 2006, beating consensus forecasts of 3.0%. That’s down from growth of 5.6% in the first quarter of 2006, but up from 2.6% in the second quarter and 2% in the third quarter. The growth in the latest quarter was led by a 4.4% increase in consumer spending, and a 10.0% annualized increase in net exports. The rise came despite sharply slower housing markets. Auto production slowed as well. Without falling housing construction and auto output, growth would have been 5.9%. In contrast, the Canadian economy will likely show growth of only 1.5% or less in the fourth quarter when final figures are reported. That’s down from 1.7% in the third quarter of 2006, 2.0% in the second quarter, and 3.8% in the first quarter. The decline came partly from lower oil and gas production, due to warmer weather reducing demand, plus lower global oil and gas prices. Slower manufacturing…

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