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Canada to see continued 'solid growth' in 2015: IMF

[OTTAWA] The IMF predicted on Wednesday that the Canadian economy's "solid growth" over the past year will continue through 2015, but warned lower oil prices could be a drag on the economy.

The International Monetary Fund said in a report the economy grew an estimated 2.25 per cent over the past year, led by energy exports.

"Solid growth is envisaged to continue while becoming more balanced," it said.

This acceleration is likely to lead to a rise in interest rates in mid-2015 from a near-record low of 1.0 per cent set in 2010, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicted in a separate report on Tuesday.

The IMF report noted that Canadian crude oil continued to gain market share in the United States amid some easing of infrastructure bottlenecks allowing more shipments.

However, "lower oil prices would likely cool activity in oil-rich provinces," the organization added.

The impact of lower oil prices, currently at a four-year low, would be partly offset by a pick-up in manufacturing.

Strong US growth and a narrower price discount for Canadian oil sold in the United States would also provide "some cushion," according to the report.