“The rebound in oil-related sectors has been actually quite strong as well, but oil prices took another leg down in July so a few of that optimism might be temporary heading into August and September”, she said.
Statistics Canada said Wednesday real gross domestic product grew 0.3 per cent in July, topping the 0.2 per cent growth economists had expected according to Thomson Reuters.
But figures released by the Office for National Statistics on Tuesday revealed the economy is now estimated to be 5.9% above its pre-recession peak, compared to initial estimates of 5.2%, after revisions meant the United Kingdom emerged from recession more strongly than previously thought.
Driving the growth in July was a 9.1 per cent improvement in non-conventional oil extraction, which includes the Alberta oilsands, following a 7.0 per cent gain in June.
Manufacturers, battered in the 2009 recession, are beginning to find relief with Canada’s dollar trading at about an 11-year low.
Mr. Harper has argued the downturn that dominated the first half of 2015 was concentrated in the commodity sector, and figures for June-and now July-indicate the overall economy is back on its feet.
That makes the deficit equivalent to 3.6 per cent of GDP, down from 5.2 per cent in the first quarter.
“Finance Minister Joe Oliver, speaking to reporters Wednesday in Toronto”, said “we’re comfortable that growth will continue”.
“It is an extremely tight call as to whether the Bank of England lifts interest rates from 0.5 per cent to 0.75 per cent around February, or holds fire until nearer mid-2016”, said Howard Archer, chief European and United Kingdom economist at IHS.
“It’s still down from a year ago”.
“After a growth stumble in the first part of the year, the Canadian economy appears to be picking itself back up”, said Nick Exarhos at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) World Markets.
Important drags remain on Canada’s recovery. Oil prices fell below $40 a barrel last month, consumer spending may be limited by high debt loads, a few governments are curbing spending and exports have suffered from years of weak global demand.
Of course, if economists are correct, it could also feed into the campaigns of the opposing Liberals and New Democratic Party in that it could mark a weaker showing than that of June.