GDP growth in April rose 0.1% following solid gains of 0.3% and 0.4% in March and February, respectively. Much of the slowing was due to transitory factors that are expected to reverse in May. For Q2 as a whole we are assuming annualized GDP growth of 2.2% up from the 1.3% recorded in Q1. The pace of growth over the second half of 2018 is expected to be buffeted by a complete shutdown of a major oil sands production facility in July due to a transformer malfunction. This could send Q3 growth back down closer to the Q1 growth rate though Q4 activity will likely bounce back with growth rising around 2 1/2%. Annual 2018 growth will be little changed from our current forecast of 2%. The projected growth this year will be down from the 3.0% recorded in 2017.
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