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Canadian GDP growth near flat in January

March 30, 2012 at 9:19 AM

OTTAWA, March 30 (UPI) -- Canada recorded a razor-thin 0.1 percent gain in gross domestic product in January, dragged down by the oil and gas sector, Statistics Canada said Friday.

"Oil and gas extraction declined 0.9 percent as a notable decrease in natural gas extraction outweighed the gain in crude petroleum production," the agency said.

That more than offset a 0.7 percent gain in manufacturing, which posted its fifth consecutive monthly increase, StatsCan said.

"The utilities sector was up 1.1 percent as the demand for electricity increased, following three consecutive monthly declines mostly due to unseasonably warm weather," the report said. "The finance and insurance sector rose 0.4 percent, mainly as a result of an increase in management activity for mutual funds, residential mortgages and business loans."

Wholesale and retail activity showed no significant growth in January, nor did engineering and construction, the report said.

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