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

New changes are being proposed to four streets in James Bay to allow better access for cyclists. Residents have until June 11 to provide feedback. (Black Press Media file photo)
New revisions to James Bay bike lanes open for feedback

Routes on Government and Montreal streets planned for 2022

An elderly man having a medical emergency in Mount Douglas Park on May 13 was rescued by firefighters and paramedics with the help of ATVs. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Rescue team uses ATVs get man in medical distress out of Saanich park and to hospital

Cedarhill Road closed as firefighters, paramedics rescue man in Mount Douglas Park

B.C. Centre for Disease Control data showing new cases by local health area for the week of May 2-8. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island COVID-19 local case counts the lowest they’ve been all year

On some areas of Island, more than 60 per cent of adults have received a vaccine dose

Saanich police used a drone to investigate a fatal crash in the 5200-block of West Saanich Road on Feb. 4, 2021. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Police determine speed, impairment not factors in fatal West Saanich Road crash

Driver who died veered across center line into oncoming traffic for unknown reason, police say

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 11

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Canada’s demo Hornet soars over the Strait of Georgia near Comox. The F-18 demo team is returning to the Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Sgt. Robert Bottrill/DND
F-18 flight demo team returning to Vancouver Island for spring training

The team will be in the Comox Valley area from May 16 to 24

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Bow-legged bear returns to Ladysmith, has an appointment with the vet

Brown Drive Park closed as conservation officers search for her after she returned from relocation

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Most Read