Statistics Canada says economic growth slowed to 0.3% annual pace in Q4

Statistics Canada office

Statistics Canada said Friday economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter to come in at an annualized rate of 0.3 per cent, its worst showing since the second quarter of 2016 when the economy contracted.

The federal agency also revised its reading for the third quarter down to an annual rate of 1.1 per cent compared with its initial report of 1.3 per cent.

Economists had expected annualized growth of 0.3 per cent in the fourth quarter, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

Statistics Canada said the softness in the fourth quarter came due to drops in business investment and weak international trade.

Contributing factors also included pipeline shutdowns, tough harvest conditions for farmers, an eight-day strike in November at CN Rail and an unrelated strike by auto workers in the U.S., as well as ongoing global trade tensions.

Offsetting the declines was an increase in household spending.