Mario ToneguzziThe Canadian economy had an impressive gain in the second quarter of this year, buoyed by the Toronto Raptors’ NBA championship run and a hike in the oil and gas extraction industry.

On Friday, Statistics Canada said real gross domestic product (GDP) grew 0.9 per cent in the second quarter, after edging up 0.1 per cent in each of the previous two quarters. This growth was led by a 3.2 per cent rise in export volumes, while final domestic demand edged down (-0.2 per cent).

Expressed at an annualized rate, real GDP advanced 3.7 per cent in the second quarter. In comparison, real GDP in the United States grew two per cent, said the federal agency.

It said exports of goods rose 3.7 per cent in the second quarter, following declines in the previous two quarters. The increase was led by energy products, which grew 5.9 per cent after a three per cent decline in the first quarter. Exports of services rose 1.1 per cent, maintaining the pace of the previous quarter. Import volumes declined one per cent.

In June, StatsCan said, real gross domestic product was up for the fourth consecutive month, rising 0.2 per cent. Growth in 17 of 20 industrial sectors more than compensated for a decline in manufacturing.

It said oil and gas extraction (+1.4 per cent) increased for the third time in four months.

“Oil and gas extraction (excluding oil sands) was up 2.3 per cent in June, as the highest seasonally unadjusted crude oil production in Newfoundland and Labrador since August 2011 – reflecting increased production capacity – more than compensated for a decline in natural gas extraction. Oil sands extraction increased 0.4 per cent, with production ramping up at some facilities as the government of Alberta continued easing oil production cuts instituted in January,” explained the federal agency.

“The Toronto Raptors’ journey to the National Basketball Association championship in June influenced the performance of diverse industries. The Raptors’ playoff run coincided with the first signs of summer-like weather across many parts of the country, with increases at food services and drinking places (+0.5 per cent) and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores (+3.5 per cent). The performing arts, spectator sports and heritage institutions industry edged up 0.1 per cent in June as most of the Raptors’ playoff games were held in May.”

In the second quarter, the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector was up 5.8 per cent, offsetting most of the declines in the previous three quarters.

“Oil and gas extraction saw the largest gain, up 6.8 per cent from the previous quarter. This increase can be attributed in large part to the continued easing of the production curtailments imposed by the government of Alberta in January 2019. Support activities for mining and oil and gas extraction were up eight per cent, following three consecutive quarterly declines.”

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