* GDP +0.2 pct in Feb, +0.5 pct in Jan, -0.4 pct in Dec
* Mining, gas, manufacturing sectors up
* Seasonally adjusted crop production down
* TD Securities sees 1.7 pct to 1.9 pct annualized Q1 growth
(Adds TD Securities first-quarter GDP growth forecast and U.S.
By Randall Palmer
OTTAWA, April 30 The Canadian economy grew by
0.2 percent in February from January, meeting economists'
expectations but recovering only modestly from December's
weather-induced decline, Statistics Canada data showed on
In December, the economy contracted by 0.4 percent (revised
from 0.5 percent), and in January it expanded by 0.5 percent.
Production in February was only 0.3 percent higher than it was
three months earlier in November, before a harsher-than-usual
winter took a toll on the economy.
Nonetheless, TD Securities macro strategist David Tulk said
first-quarter growth was tracking at an annualized 1.7 to 1.9
percent, stronger than the Bank of Canada's forecast this month
of 1.5 percent. His projection assumes March growth of 0.2
percent from February.
U.S. first-quarter growth came in on Wednesday at only 0.1
percent annualized, suggesting that it was not a
banner quarter for Canadian exporters.
February's gains in Canada were led by the mining and oil
and gas industries. Mining and quarrying rose 4.8 percent,
particularly because of copper and nickel, and oil and gas
extraction rose by 0.7 percent, mainly because of higher natural
The agriculture and forestry sector declined 1.5 percent,
principally because of expectations of lower crop production
after last year's record harvest. The figures are adjusted for
seasonal factors, and while Canadian crop production in raw
numbers is close to zero in February, Statscan looks at farmers'
planting intentions to assign a seasonally adjusted number.
Manufacturing rose 0.6 percent after gaining 1.6 percent in
January, and goods production was up 0.5 percent. Services rose
(Editing by Meredith Mazzilli; and Peter Galloway)