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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City staff has passed an order requiring remedial action on a building that was severely damaged by fire last fall. Trevor Crawley photo.
City council orders remedial action on vacant buildings damaged by fire

City council has issued a remedial action order relating to vacant buildings… Continue reading

At the library
At the Cranbrook Public Library

By Mike Selby The Library is now open with extended hours (with… Continue reading

Candice Marie Neale was last seen by her family on May 5, 2021 around 11p.m. Cranbrook RCMP are asking anyone who sees Neale to contact police. (Submitted file)
UPDATE: Previously missing Cranbrook woman located, found safe and sound, says RCMP

Candice Marie Neale was reporting missing on Monday, she has since been found

Sisters Becky McArthur and Robin Hansen are the owners of Twisted Peaks, which marked its first birthday, May 11, 2021.
Twisted Peaks marks first birthday

Happy first birthday to Twisted Peaks, the frozen yogurt shop that began… Continue reading

GoByBike week takes place in Cranbrook from May 31st to June 6th. There are several challenges to participate in for the chance to win prizes, and the championship title. (Townsman file)
GoByBike week in Cranbrook returns at the end of May

Ride your bike to school or work between May 31st and June 6th

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Laketown Shakedown has been rescheduled for 2022, with options for ticket holders to receive refunds or credit for future events. (File photo)
Sunfest country music bash won’t be shining on B.C. in 2021

Annual Vancouver Island Festival cancelled due to COVID-19, along with Laketown Shakedown

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation elected chief councillor Moses Martin, who was also Chantel Moore’s grandfather, speaks to media in Port Alberni on Aug. 16, 2020, during a visit from NDP leader Jagmeet Singh following the police shooting of Chantel Moore. (Elena Rardon photo)
Mother of 2 shot by police in critical condition, says B.C. First Nation chief

Community ‘devastated’ by third member of 1,150-person Vancouver Island nation shot in less than a year

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham promotes the government’s BuyBC food program in 2019. (B.C. government)
Money running out for fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in B.C. schools

‘Looking at ways to support this type of program,’ minister says

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Experts now predict 33.6% rise in B.C. home sales for 2021

BCREA economists also predict home prices to increase by 14.3%

B.C. Auditor General Michael Pickup in 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. didn’t effectively manage conservation lands program: auditor general

Michael Pickup says staff had limited approaches to resolving the unauthorized use of the most at-risk conservation lands

The majority of city council votes in favour of this design for a new Salmon Arm flag on Monday, May 10, 2021. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Majority of council salutes new flag for Salmon Arm

Two councillors raise concerns about logo being too corporate for a flag

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read