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Trudeau gets an Economic Surprise before Elections

Canada’s  economy grew much more than expected in the second quarter, official data showed on Friday, providing a boost to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he prepares to fight a tough re-election campaign in October.

The national statistical agency, Statistics Canada, said the economy expanded at an annualised rate of 3.7 percent in the second quarter, higher than the 2.3 percent the Bank of Canada had predicted in July and the 3.0 percent estimated by analysts in a Reuters poll.

It was the fastest pace of growth since the 4.4 percent reported in the second quarter of 2017.

Polls show Trudeau’s Liberals face a tight election race against the Conservatives, who have promised to make the economy and affordability a cornerstone of their campaign.

Trudeau came to power in 2015 promising to run modest budget deficits over four years as Ottawa invested more in the economy and boosted social spending.

But the shortfalls have been much larger than expected and the Liberals will not say when the budget will return to balance. The Conservatives accuse the Liberals of reckless spending.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the growth data showed the government’s policies were paying off.

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