Statistics Canada Says Economy Appears to Have Grown in Second Quarter

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
July 30, 2021 Updated: July 30, 2021

OTTAWA—Statistics Canada says the economy appears to have grown in the second quarter of the year despite two months of setbacks.

The agency says its preliminary estimate is that the economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.5 percent between April and June.

Real gross domestic declined by 0.5 percent in April and the agency said Friday that May saw a decline of 0.3 percent.

The decline put total economic activity about two percent below pre-pandemic levels seen in February 2020.

Statistics Canada says its preliminary estimate is that real GDP grew by 0.7 percent in June as pandemic restrictions started to ease across the country.

The agency says that with growth in June, total economic activity was about one percent below pre-pandemic levels.

The early estimate for the second quarter just outpaced the Bank of Canada’s most recent expectations.

Earlier this month, the central bank forecasted that the economy would grow at an annualized rate of two percent in the second quarter, down from its earlier estimate of 3.5 percent, pointing to restrictions that were in place for much of the three-month stretch.

For May, Statistics Canada says retail declined by 2.7 percent after a drop of 5.7 percent in April as the sector was weighed down by restrictions on in-person shopping meant to combat the third wave of COVID-19.

Accommodation and food services sector was similarly affected by restrictions and declined by 2.4 percent in May, which was not as bad as the 4.3 percent drop in April.

Statistics Canada says manufacturing declined 0.8 percent in May, marking the third contraction in four months.

The agency also notes that residential building construction dropped 4.2 percent in May, down for the first time since November 2020, and a decline of 0.4 percent in the real estate sector as home resale activity slowed.

Statistics Canada says the easing of public health restrictions in many provinces in June helped reverse the slide in sectors reliant on in-person services, like retail, accommodation and food services, which all saw growth.

The agency adds that there were also gains in manufacturing in June, while construction and wholesale trade appear to have contracted.

The figures for June and the second quarter will be finalized at the end of August.

 

The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press