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Economy grew at 5.6% annual rate in first quarter of year, Statistics Canada says

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the economy grew at an annual rate of 5.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

The figure for the first three months of the year is better than the contraction first forecast months ago, but still represents a slowdown from the 9.6 per cent annualized growth seen over the last three months of 2020.

The economic boost was aided by the loosening of public health restrictions that helped increases in goods-producing and services sectors.

The statistics agency says the quarter ended with an increase of 1.1 per cent in real gross domestic product in March, following the 0.4 per cent registered in February.

At the end of the quarter, Statistics Canada says overall economic activity was one per cent below the levels seen pre-pandemic in February 2020.

Statistics Canada also estimates the second quarter started with stumble as the agency estimates a drop in economic output of 0.8 per cent for April, which would be the first decline since April 2020.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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