Statistics Canada to release final economic figures for 2020

StatsCanada will today release final data showing the pandemic's impact on the Canadian economy. Preliminary data released mid-January estimated Canadian GDP shrank 5.1% in 2020, the biggest pull-back in over 60 years of comparable data.

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is expected to say this morning precisely how bad a year the Canadian economy suffered in 2020.

Preliminary estimates from late January suggested the economy suffered its worst year on record with contraction of 5.1 per cent last year, which would be the worst decline in six decades of comparable data.

That compared with a pullback of 2.9 per cent during the global financial crisis in 2009.

The massive drop last year was due to the shutdown of large swaths of the economy in March and April during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since then, economic activity has slowly and steadily grown, with November marking the seventh straight month of gains.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate is for a 7.5 per cent annualized increase in GDP for the fourth quarter of 2020.

The average economist estimate is for a 0.3 per cent GDP increase in December, lower than the previous month's 0.7 per cent rise.

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