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Canada economy notches growth in November

Canada's economy grew 0.3 per cent in November, a tad better than market expectations and the strongest pace in more than half a year thanks in part to a pickup in activity by resource firms.

Gross domestic product grew from a muted 0.1 per cent in October, Statistics Canada said Thursday. The monthly rise -- the best since April -- was largely due to the goods side of the economy, which increased 0.6 per cent on the back of activity in the areas of manufacturing and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction.

As well, the output of service industries rose 0.1 per cent, with gains coming from wholesale and retail trade, the agency said .

“After many months of floundering growth, the Canadian economy sparked back to life in November,” Emanuella Enenajor, an economist at CIBC World Markets, said in a research note.

“Overall, an upbeat report suggesting that economic activity picked up from its fall doldrums, although still lagging potential output growth.”

According to a Reuters survey of economists, the median forecast was for a 0.2 per cent rise, though some analysts did predict an increase of at least 0.3 per cent.

"Today's print suggests that the economy is on track for a 1 per cent quarterly annualized rate of growth in Q4. This is broadly in line with both our estimate, as well as the most recent forecast from the Bank of Canada," said Mazen Issa, Canada macro strategist at TD Securities.

However, Issa said in a note that TD differs from the central bank in that it expects a  more gradual reacceleration in growth over 2013.

"With growth not likely to rise above potential until the second half of 2013, economic slack will persist through the year ahead helping to keep inflation pressures subdued and keeping the Bank of Canada on the sidelines," he wrote.

Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada cut its growth outlook and highlighted the need to delay a possible rate hike from its current 1.0 per cent.

The Canadian growth data follows a downtrodden picture of the U.S. economy. Data on Wednesday showed the  American economy unexpectedly shrank in the fourth quarter, for its weakest showing since it emerged from recession in 2009.