BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Canadian economy contracted for the first time in 12 months in April as monthly real GDP fell 0.3 per cent due to restrictions put in place to contain the third wave of COVID-19.
The largest declines were felt in high-touch services sector industries like retail trade and food services. Output of the real estate sector also dipped in April, though coming off a record month of sales in March.
Many sectors are currently dealing with the complexities of recovering from a pandemic that has produced significant shortages of materials and labour. As a result, there is an adjustment process underway, highlighted by rapidly rising costs, as businesses scramble to recover back to pre-pandemic levels of production and service.
That process will continue to create some ups and downs as the economy moves into a post-pandemic environment but the overall trend in the economy is overwhelmingly positive. Statistics Canada estimates that strong growth resumed in May and we anticipate the Canadian economy will expand at a 6 per cent rate this year. The same is true of the BC economy, where we are tracking economic growth for 2021 at 6.2 per cent.