Statistics Canada’s offices in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Statistics Canada’s offices in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Early estimate from Statistics Canada shows economic growth has slowed

‘The lull in between waves reveals how quickly Canadian activity can bounce back when the virus is contained,’ says economist Royce Mendes

Statistics Canada estimates the economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.5 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

The preliminary estimate for the first three months of the year compares with growth at an annualized rate of 9.6 per cent over the last three months of 2020.

Statistics Canada said Friday the economy grew 0.4 per cent in February and estimated growth of 0.9 per cent for March.

Service industries that have been hard-hit through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic showed a small gain in February, while goods-producing industries had a small contraction for the first time since last April.

With the gain in February, overall economic activity was about two per cent below the levels seen pre-pandemic in February 2020.

Taking into account the preliminary numbers for March, Statistics Canada estimates the economy last month was roughly one per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

Statistics Canada will finalize numbers for March and the first quarter of the year in June.

February showed a division between goods-producing and service sectors, as retail jumped after two months of decreases as public health restrictions eased in much of the country, offset by declines in mining and gas extraction for first time in six months.

Manufacturing, too, pulled back 0.9 per cent in February after posting a 1.5 per cent increase one month earlier in January.

Retail trade jumped 4.5 per cent after two months of decreases.

Clothing, sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores saw double-digit increases in activity, alongside furniture and home furnishing stores as part of a trend of spending on household goods as Canadians continued to stay home.

Similarly, construction was up in February, as were sales from store selling building materials and garden equipment.

Accommodation and food services grew 3.5 per cent in February after five months of declines as restaurants and bars benefitted from an easing of restrictions.

But in the last few weeks, rules have tightened in much of the country to combat rising case counts during the third wave of the pandemic.

CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes said in a note that the third wave should reverse much, if not all of the recent progress in high-contact service industries.

“The good news is that the data for the lull in between waves reveal how quickly Canadian activity can bounce back when the virus is contained,” he wrote.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

economy

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

A medical worker prepares vials of the COVID-19 vaccines, Chinese Sinopharm, left, Sputnik V, center, and Pfizer at a vaccine centre, in the Usce shopping mall in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Serbian authorities are looking for incentives for people to boost vaccination that has slowed down in recent weeks amid widespread anti-vaccination and conspiracy theories in the Balkan nation. The government has also promised a payment of around 25 euros to everyone who gets vaccinated by the end of May. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
38 new COVID-19 cases, more than 335k vaccines administered in Interior Health

Interior Health also to start targeted vaccinations in high transmission neighbourhoods

FILE PHOTO
Second doses of COVID-19 vaccine will be available, as AstraZeneca supply runs low: Interior Health

Province expecting large volumes of Pfizer BioNTech as age-based cohort immunization program ramps up

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Brad MacKenzie, advocacy chair for the ALS Society of B.C., says having research projects in the province allows people here to have access to cutting-edge treatments now being developed. (B.C. government video)
B.C. funds research chair for Lou Gehrig’s disease at UBC

Pandemic has cut off patient access to international projects

Most Read