FXStreet (Mumbai) - Statistics Canada today reported Canada’s economy grew 2.3 per cent in the third quarter, matching expectations. Gains in automotive exports and a pick-up in consumer spending offset the drag from lower oil prices and led the economy to grow for the first time in three quarters. Growth in the last month of the third quarter, September is however reported to have contracted 0.5 per cent, the largest since March 2009. Interruption in oil production that resulted from fires and maintenance shutdowns caused growth to decline. Exports rose 9.4 per cent in the third quarter led by automobiles and consumer goods. Imports on the other hand fell 2.9 per cent, Statistics Canada said. Consumer spending improved at a 1.8 per cent annualized pace. A 3 per cent decline in business investment, which dropped for the third time in a row, weighed on third quarter’s growth. Government expenditures fell by 1.6 per cent. A 5.5 per cent drop in oil and gas extraction led to contraction in output. However this weakness is considered to be temporary. GDP had contracted in the first two quarters Fall in Canada’s prices for exported crude oil and other commodities had caused the economy to shrink in the first half of 2015. Layoffs and canceled investments at resource companies such as Talisman Energy Inc. have had a huge impact on Canada’s growth figures this year. Statistics Canada today reduced its estimates of the growth contractions in the first half. It said GDP shrank 0.7 per cent in the first quarter and 0.3 per cent in the first quarter. It has earlier said the contractions were 0.8 per cent and 0.5 per cent. Bank of Canada expects output growth to slow in the last quarter Third-quarter GDP figures comes close to the Bank of Canada’s recent estimate of a 2.5 per cent increase. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz feels Canada’s “two-speed” economy currently battling the impact of low oil price will need until the middle of 2017 to get back to full capacity. The central bank will meet tomorrow to take interest rate related decision. Poloz had opted to cut interest rates both in January and July to cushion the oil price shock, leading to a depreciation of the country’s currency. It has also proved to be a boon to auto makers and other goods makers. The central bank has also predicted a slowdown in output growth to a 1.5 per cent pace between October and December. Output growth is expected to pick up again to a rate of 2.7 per cent in the second half of 2016. For more information, read our latest forex news.