Retailing increased 0.6 percent in February, and the arts, entertainment and recreation category rose 6.1 percent, boosted by the Olympics, Statistics Canada said.
Manufacturing rose 1.2 percent in February, accounting for about half of the economy’s growth, on gains in output of metals, pharmaceuticals and beverages.
Canadian factories were among the hardest hit by last year’s recession, and Carney said yesterday that persistent strength in the country’s dollar is a risk to the recovery. The Canadian dollar was worth more than its U.S. counterpart on April 6 for the first time since July 2008.
Canadian exporters are getting help from a U.S. economy that is also showing a recovery. The Commerce Department reported today that the U.S. economy expanded at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the first quarter as households spent more freely.
The economy grew at a 5.8 percent annualized first-quarter pace, the Bank of Canada forecast last week when it dropped a conditional commitment” to keep its key lending rate at a record low 0.25 percent until July. Governor Mark Carney said yesterday that future moves to tighten monetary policy aren’t pre-ordained” and depend on future growth and inflation.