OTTAWA — Statistics Canada is expected to report today that economic growth swung negative in March and the first quarter as a whole due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The average economist estimate is for a nine-per-cent drop in gross domestic product for March, while the average estimate for the first quarter as a whole is for a GDP pullback at a annualized pace of 10 per cent, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.
The agency said real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged in February as it was hit by teacher strikes in Ontario and rail blockades across many parts of the country.
Declines in educational services and disruptions in the transportation and warehousing sector offset growth in other areas.
In a preliminary estimate for March released last month, Statistics Canada said the economy posted a nine per cent decline as business came to a standstill due to measures taken to slow the spread of the pandemic.