Canada's economy pulled back in February after blistering January pace

Canada's economy shrank for the first time in five months in February, as the manufacturing, mining and energy sectors all slowed down.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that in addition to the sectors listed above, the agriculture and forestry sector also declined.

The retail, finance and insurance sectors were sources of strength, as was construction.

"Construction was a bright spot, up 0.1 per cent, probably helped by the mild winter (which we are now paying for in spades with this ridiculous spring, but I digress," BMO economist Doug Porter said.

The different sectors of Canada's economy expanded and contracted as follows during the month.

february gdp

Retail was a source of strength during the month, but most other sectors of the economy contracted in February. (Pete Evans/CBC)

Despite the contraction, February's performance wasn't as bad as what economists were expecting — an even larger contraction of 0.2 per cent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The weak showing comes on the heels of a January number that, at 0.6 per cent, was the best month for the economy since 2013.

Despite the pullback, TD Bank economist Brian DePratto said he still expects the January to March period as a whole to post strong gains.

But "the national figure will mask the differing growth paths on a regional basis as the commodity producing regions continue to struggle with low prices and shrinking investment," he said Friday.

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