UPDATE 1-Canada finmin says struggling US is major worry

* U.S. joblessness, weak consumer demand worry Canada

* Need to guard against dip back into global recession

* Sees Canada Q2 GDP growth below pvs qtr

(Adds comments on US, Canadian growth, Ireland)

By Andras Gergely

DUBLIN, Aug 26 (BestGrowthStock) – The United States’ struggling
economy and jobs market is a big concern for Canada, Canadian
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday, adding that
Canadian economic growth likely eased in the second quarter from
the first three months of the year.

Canada, this year’s chair of the G7 group of industrialised
nations, has weathered the global financial crisis better than
most of its peers but it is very exposed to a faltering recovery
in the United States, which buys most its exports.

“The United States is still struggling, and that’s a major
worry for the Canadian economy,” Flaherty told a business lunch
while on a visit to Ireland. He cited weak consumer demand and
persistent unemployment as some of the main concerns in the
United States.

In Canada, Flaherty said growth in gross domestic product
probably moderated in the second quarter of 2010 from the first
quarter or in the last three months of 2009.

“That was relatively extraordinary growth (in previous
quarters), higher than we had anticipated,” he told journalists.
“So we do expect as the IMF does, more moderate growth for the
balance of this year and into 2011,” he added.

Canada is due to release second quarter gross domestic
product data next week.

Asked if worries about the struggling U.S. economy would
make him revise plans to exit a stimulus programme, Flaherty
said: “We’ll just stay on track, complete the economic action
plan, it’s working.”

He added there were also some positive signs in the U.S.
economy and developed nations on the whole could look forward to
moderate growth in coming years.

“We have to be carefully monitoring … to make sure we
don’t slide backwards into any sort of double dip (globally),”
he told the lunch after an expose on his own Irish ancestry.

Earlier on Thursday, Flaherty came to Ireland’s defence,
saying it had a solid bank plan and was Europe’s leader in
fiscal reform. The views of rating agencies, such as S&P’s
downgrade of Ireland this week, should not be taken too
seriously, he said. [ID:nLDE67P0LL]
(Editing by Susan Fenton)

UPDATE 1-Canada finmin says struggling US is major worry