Ottawa: Statistics Canada says the economy saw its largest monthly drop on record in April as it came to a near standstill due to the pandemic, but early indications point to a rebound in May as businesses began to reopen.
The agency said on Tuesday gross domestic product fell 11.6 per cent in April with non-essential businesses shut for the full month following a 7.5 per cent decline in March.
However, Statistics Canada said its initial flash estimate points to growth of three per cent in May. The estimate will be revised and finalized at the end of July.
Economists on average expect a drop of 13 per cent for April, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
Manufacturing was down 22.5 per cent in April as many factories either shuttered or greatly reduced capacity in line with public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 a move that hit the automotive sector hard as the output of motor vehicles plunged 97.7 per cent.
Even sectors that had increases in March weren’t spared in April like food manufacturing, which dropped 12.8 per cent in April as outbreaks at meat processing plants forced them to shut down. The accommodation and food services sector dropped 42.4 per cent in April, as customers replaced eating out with staying in, hitting a sector that saw a 37.1 per cent decline in March.
Output from bars and restaurants in particular plunged 40.8 per cent as local and provincial states of emergency forced their closure, or limited operations to take-out and delivery.
The Canadian Press