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

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read