Canada's economy expands slightly faster than expected in July

Screenshot/Global News CanadaCanadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses the press about the impending death sentence of Saudi activist Israa al-Ghomgham.

Canada’s economy grew slightly faster than expected in July, bolstered by strong performance in manufacturing, wholesale trade, utilities and transportation.

Gross domestic product rose 0.2%, the national statistics agency reported Friday, compared with economist expectations for a 0.1% month-over-month increase and 2.2% year-over-year.

Economic growth accelerated in the second quarter at the fastest pace in a year, driven by sharp increases in exports and consumer spending. But June saw a flat reading as a major outage at a Canadian energy facility weighed on oil and gas output.

The data will come the same day the US is expected to publish text of a bilateral trade agreement with Mexico. President Donald Trump has threatened to exclude Canada from a final NAFTA agreement and to impose tariffs on its car imports to the US.

Canada could presumably join the deal later – if it makes concessions on key sticking points including access to its protected dairy market and rules on resolving trade disputes.

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