Today, Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Dr. Trevin Stratton, issued the following statement, regarding Canada’s economic outlook and recovery plan:
“Today’s economic numbers demonstrate that Canada is facing a prolonged K-shaped recovery. Our economy did not contract as much as expected during the first wave but, with the second wave in full effect, our economic recovery will take much longer than initially anticipated, particularly for the hardest hit sectors. We have a long road ahead of us.
Today’s Monetary Policy Report shows us that we will not return to the pre-pandemic size of the economy until 2022 and interest rates will remain low even longer. Another baseline for our economic health was released by Statistics Canada today showing Canada lost over 100,000 active businesses at the peak of the pandemic, primarily in food services, accommodation, arts and entertainment.
We have been able to claw back some of these losses through reopening and the summer season, but the latest numbers still show that Canada has lost about 10% of its economic engine – its active businesses. We are now also at risk of increased business closures once again and, this time, more closures might be permanent.
Achieving the economic trajectory outlined by the Bank of Canada will require recouping these business closures through both re-opening and new business creation. Any true recovery must, and inevitably will, be business-led. Just as every downturn is first felt on Main Street when the lights begin to go out, every recovery starts when the open signs begin reappearing.
Over the past two days over 900 business leaders came together at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s AGM to determine what this economic recovery plan should look like. They focused on reinvigorating investment, building industrial capacity, health innovation and research, accelerating the rollout of national broadband, ensuring supply chain resiliency and getting Canadians back to work. In short, addressing the myriad ways in which the pandemic has affected our economy. Canada needs a growth-focused plan for businesses focused on these issues to fuel and, hopefully, accelerate this recovery.”