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Canadian economy posts worst quarter since 2009: StatsCan

According to a new report from Statistics Canada, real gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of 1.6 per cent in the second quarter, due in large part to the wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta.


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August 31, 2016 by Canadian Plastics

Canada’s economy shrank in the second quarter as it dealt with the fallout from this spring’s devastating wildfires in northern Alberta, a new report from Statistics Canada said.

“Exports of goods and services fell 4.5% in the second quarter,” StatsCan said. “Exports of goods were down 5.5%, with the decrease widespread throughout most export categories. This was the largest decline in exports since the first quarter of 2009.”

The contraction in the second quarter followed annualized growth of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter — revised higher from an initial reading of 2.4 per cent.

In large part, StatsCan blamed a 4.5 per cent drop in exports — especially energy products — as the Alberta fires caused many oilsands operations to curtail production in May. “Excluding the large drop in crude oil output, [Canada’s] GDP would have increased by 0.1 per cent (0.4 per cent annualized),” the agency said.

Exports of motor vehicles and parts were down 5.8%, StatsCan said, mostly because of lower exports of passenger cars and light trucks (-6.6%). “Exports of consumer goods (-6.8%) decreased across the board, resulting in the largest drop since the second quarter of 2003,” it said. “The only major offset to the decline in exports was aircraft and other transportation equipment and parts, which rebounded 5.6% following two quarters of decrease.”