TORONTO – Finance Minister Joe Oliver says Canada was not in a recession in the first half of the year despite economic data to the contrary.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Oliver says there was a contraction confined to the energy and resource sector — but he doesn’t believe there was a recession in the first two quarters of 2015.
Oliver, who is running for re-election in the Toronto riding of Eglinton-Lawrence, also says he doesn’t think Canada’s now in a recession, citing robust trade numbers and strong consumer confidence.
Earlier this month, Statistics Canada reported that real gross domestic product contracted at an annual pace of 0.5 per cent in April to June, preceded by a decline of 0.8 per cent in the first three months of the year.
That meets the federal government’s definition of a recession, which is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP.
But some economists say whether Canada fell into a recession is subject to some debate, as the country did not exhibit some of the classic hallmarks of such an economic decline, citing job growth.