Final domestic demand rose 1 percent.
Business gross fixed capital formation grew 2.3 percent, compared with 0.8 percent in the previous quarter. Higher investment in residential structures was the main contributor, increasing 3.2 percent following a flat third quarter. New housing construction (+3 percent) also rose, while renovations edged down 0.1 percent. Outlays on non-residential structures increased 1.3 percent) on higher investment in engineering structures (+2.1 percent)), while investment in non-residential buildings declined 0.8 percent). Business investment in machinery and equipment rose 3 percent), primarily because of increased outlays on aircraft and other transportation equipment. Investment in intellectual property products was unchanged overall. Increased outlays on research and development (+2.1 percent)) and software (+1.1 percent)) were offset by declines in mineral exploration and evaluation (-11 percent)).
Businesses accumulated CAD 14.2 billion of inventories in the fourth quarter, as manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers all added to their stocks.
Real household final consumption expenditure slowed to 0.5 percent growth, following a 0.9 percent increase in the previous quarter. Spending was up on durable (+0.4 percent), semi-durable (+0.3 percent) and non-durable (+0.4 percent) goods, as well as on services (+0.6 percent).
Exports rose 0.7 percent, following a 2.7 percent decline in the third quarter. Exports of goods went up 0.6 percent, following a 3.4 percent drop in the previous quarter. The gain was led by basic and industrial chemical, plastic and rubber products (+7.9 percent). Forestry products and building and packing materials (+3.5 percent) also contributed to the gain, as did motor vehicles and parts (+1.3 percent). Exports of services (+1.3 percent) increased for the eighth consecutive quarter, mainly travel services (+4.4 percent).
Imports were 1.5 percent higher after edging up 0.1 percent in the previous quarter. Imports of goods increased 1.8 percent, with notable gains in aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts (+24.6 percent) and electronic and electrical equipment and parts (+6.2 percent). Imports of services increased 0.4 percent following 1.3 percent growth in the third quarter. Most of the gain was in commercial services (+1.6 percent), while imports of travel services declined 1.6 percent following 4.3 percent growth in the third quarter.
Considerinng full 2017, the economy advanced 3 percent, following a 1.4 percent growth in 2016. Much of this growth was attributable to the first two quarters of 2017, with deceleration observed toward the end of the year.