Top bank economists expect 2021 recovery if Canada quells COVID-19, vaccinates more

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TORONTO — Chief economists from Canada’s big banks expect the economy to rebound this year, but say failing to control COVID-19 or get vaccines into arms could upend that recovery.

Speaking at an annual breakfast hosted virtually by the Economic Club of Canada, the economists expressed cautious optimism about the months ahead.

Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Financial Group, says his bank believes every economy will see a substantial improvement over the next year as long as the virus doesn’t continue to accelerate.

BMO is expecting the global economy to post a 5.5 per cent rebound this year, followed by a four per cent growth rate next year.

Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC, said COVID-19 vaccines will be key to the recovery because once more people get a shot they will be willing to spend money on things they have been prevented from doing over the last year.

Shenfeld says the vaccines will help unleash cash Canadians have avoided spending as the pandemic closed down most entertainment and hospitality venues and kept people from travelling.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BMO, TSX:CM, TSX:RY)