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Economy gets a shot in the arm

Published by Steve Coleman on December 14, 2011

A snapshot of Canadian GDP for November says the composite leading index posted its largest increase in five months in November.

After slowing down over the last few months, the index rose 0.8 per cent in November after manufacturing showed increases in several areas. Homeowners set out mixed messages with their spending patterns, while the stock market continued to dip.

"All three manufacturing components increased," said a Statistics Canada release. "New orders for durable goods recovered 4.1 per cent from a 5.8 per cent decline the month before. The ratio of shipments to inventories rose after five consecutive monthly declines, as sales strengthened while inventories levelled off. The average workweek lengthened for a second month in a row."

At least part of the improvement in the Canadian big picture is due to movement in the US economy. South of the border, America's leading indicator showed a half percentage point gain on stronger consumer spending and more building permits.

At the same time, Canada's housing index fell 1.5 per cent. More houses were being started than were sold. Tracking says furniture and appliance sales fell. Spending on other durable goods stayed strong.

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