OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Statistics Canada says after three months of growth, the country’s real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged in February.
Without declines, particularly in educational services, and disruptions in the transportation and warehousing sector, the agency says the economy would have grown 0.2 per cent.
"…GDP was essentially unchanged in February, as declines particularly in educational services, and disruptions in the transportation and warehousing sector stalled the economy. Excluding these two sectors, the economy would have grown 0.2%." -Statscan@NEWS1130
— Richard Dettman (@rwdettman) April 30, 2020
In addition, Statistics Canada says the global spread of COVID-19 “continued affecting the potential growth of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) in February through reduced movement of people, goods and services.”
At the time, the economy was being significantly impacted by rail blockades. The transportation and warehousing sector was down for the third time in four months in February, with rail transport seeing a decline of 5.1 per cent after a 0.7 decrease in January.
Rail blockades impacted the movement of goods and people for about 21 days.
The full disruptive effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the Canadian economy should be reflected “notably” in March numbers, as well as those to come in the months following.
According to preliminary indications, Statistics Canada says “economic contraction in March was the largest since the series started in 1961.”
StatsCan says the global spread of COVID-19 continued affecting the potential growth of Canada's GDP in February through reduced movement of people, goods and services.
The full disruptive effect on the Canadian economy should be reflected in March numbers. @NEWS1130
— Amanda Wawryk (@AmandaWawryk) April 30, 2020
Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released a “flash estimate” for GDP in March showing a decline of about nine per cent. Meanwhile, the flash estimate for the first quarter indicated a decline of about 2.6 per cent.
Statistics Canada says it’s been producing flash estimates given the unique situation created by the COVID-19 crisis.
The official GDP estimate for March is expected to be released on May 29.
Richard Dettman will have more in Business at :26 and :56.