Canada announced on Friday that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) dropped
7.2 percent m-o-m in March after a revised 0.1 m-o-m advance in February (originally,
That was better than economists’ forecast for a decline of 9.0 percent m-o-m, but marked the steepest monthly contraction on record.
In the first quarter of 2020, the Canadian GDP fell 2.1 percent q-o-q, following a 0.1 percent q-o-q growth in the fourth quarter of 2019. That was the sharpest drop since the first quarter of 2009.
According to the report, the q-o-q downturn in GDP reflected measures imposed in March to contain the pandemic, such as school and non-essential business closures, border shutdowns, and travel restrictions, as well as events earlier in the quarter, mainly the Ontario teachers' strike and rail blockades in February. Household spending reduced by 2.3 percent q-o-q in the first quarter, the steepest quarterly drop ever recorded, while governments' final consumption expenditure decreased 1.0 percent q-o-q, the largest decline since the first quarter of 2013, reflecting school closures and curtailed government administration. Exports dropped 3.0 percent q-o-q, and imports declined 2.8 percent q-o-q, as the country's major trading partners implemented similar public health measures.
Expressed at an annualized rate, Canada’s GDP declined 8.2 percent in the first quarter after a revised 0.6 percent increase in the previous quarter (originally a 0.3 percent rise), compared to economists’ forecast of 10.0 percent contraction.
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