Canadas economy stuck in low gear

OTTAWA — The pace of Canada’s economic growth held steady in the second quarter, supported by business investment but kept in check by weaker exports and a softer housing sector.Gross domestic product rose 0.5% between April and June, matching increases in the previous two quarters, Statistics Canada said Friday.On an annualized basis, GDP was up 1.8% in the second quarter, the same pace as the first previous quarter and slightly stronger than the 1.7% growth in the United States.That increase nearly matched the forecast by the Bank of Canada, and beat economists’ calls for a 1.6% annualized increase in the second quarter.Business investment in plants and equipment grew 2.3%, the strongest increase in a year, the federal agency said, “continuing a string of consecutive increases that began in 2010.”Corporate spending in machinery and equipment was also higher, rising 1.8%, compared with an increase of 1% in the first quarter. Much of that investment was in transportation equipment and industrial machinery, the agency said.Consumer spending rose 0.3%, up slightly from 0.2% in the January-to-March period. Still, that was down from growth of 0.7% in the fourth quarter.By industry, the advance in GDP was led by goods production, up 0.9%, and services, up 0.3%. “Mining and oil and gas extraction, and construction were the main contributors to overall growth,” Statistics Canada said. “Gains were also recorded in manufacturing, agriculture, wholesales trade, the finance and insurance sector and professional services.”The retail and utilities sectors declined in the second quarter.Meanwhile, housing investment slowed to 0.2% after a 2.5% jump in the first quarter, reflecting recent data showing the residential market is beginning to cool.Export growth was also weaker, rising just 0.2% in the second quarter, compared to a gain of 1% in the previous quarter and marking the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2011.Imports, on the other hand, rose 1.6% after rising 1.3% between January and March.For June, GDP was up 0.2% from the previous month, beating economists’ expectation of a 0.1% gain.Not surprisingly, government spending declined 0.1% in the second quarter amid public-sector cost-cutting measures.In a speech last week to the Canadian Auto Workers union, Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney said that despite a slowing global economy, Canada’s output is “roughly in line with growth of the economy’s production potential” and is expected to pick up in 2013.“Consumption and business investment are expected to be the primary drivers of this moderate growth, reflecting very stimulative domestic financial conditions,” he said.“While Canadian exports are projected to improve, they are likely to remain below their pre-recession peak until the beginning of 2014.”The central bank has held its key interest rate at a near-record low of 1% since September 2010 in an effort to stimulate the economy coming out of the recession. read more

Ryanair passenger filmed racially abusing woman on flight is identified by police

Ryanair passenger (pictured) filmed racially abusing woman on flight is identified by police Ryanair passenger (pictured) filmed racially abusing woman on flight is identified by policeCredit:David Lawrence/PA The woman who was subject to the abuse said she felt “very low” about the incident.Speaking to ITV News, Mrs Gayle, 77, from east London, said: “I feel very low. He pays his fare, I pay mine. So why did he abuse me for that? Because of the colour of my skin.”If I had done that to him, I’m sure they would have called the police.”Ms Gayle said her experience has discouraged her from flying with the low-cost airline in future. A man who was filmed racially abusing an elderly woman on a Ryanair flight has been identified, police have said.Footage posted on social media appeared to show a plane passenger calling Delsie Gayle an “ugly black b—–d” and telling her “don’t speak to me in a foreign language, you stupid, ugly cow”.The incident is believed to have taken place on Ryanair flight FR015 at Barcelona Airport on October 19, before it left for London Stansted.Essex Police said on Tuesday: “We have worked to identify both parties involved in this incident and passed the information to the Spanish authorities who are leading on this investigation.”Our officers will continue to provide assistance where necessary throughout the course of this case.” She continued: “I feel really depressed about it. I go to bed and say: ‘what have I done?'”I haven’t done anything to attack him, it’s because of the colour of my skin I was abused like that.”I decided I would not fly with that airline because they don’t treat you with no respect.”Her daughter, Carol, who was with her mother on the Barcelona flight, criticised Ryanair’s response, and claimed they have not yet received an apology from the airline.She told ITV News: “He should have been moved or taken off the plane and nothing was done.”I know if that was a black person racially abusing an elderly woman the police would have been involved. It would have been a different matter.”Nobody has apologised. We’ve not had nothing. We just want an open apology from Ryanair.”I can’t even watch the video any more, it’s just so upsetting.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more