OTTAWA - The Conference Board has issued a brighter near-term outlook for Canada's economy than most forecasts.

The Ottawa-based think-tank says it expects growth will return to the economy in the current third quarter, with a barely visible 0.2 per cent pick-up over the previous three months.

And next year, the think-tank says the economy will grow by 2.7 per cent, a faster pace than predicted by most major private sector and institutional forecasters.

The Conference Board says turnarounds from deep recessions are normally livelier than what it is predicting, but because the downturn is worldwide, this time the rebound will be slower and more sluggish.

It says next year Canada will benefit from a bounce-back in commodity prices, a return to growth in the U.S. housing market and the full benefits of government stimulus that Ottawa has calculated at $80 billion over two years.

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