After reading the April 2015 BDC Economic Letter you would be left with the feeling that while the growth is not happening at a speed to the finish line pace, the pace that it is happening at is definitely one that we can sustain.
GDP shrinks somewhat – Real GDP shrank by 0.1% in January, that was after a 0.3% uptick in December and a 0.2% dip in November. On the other hand, production was up in the mining, oil and gas extraction sector, curtailing the decline in GDP. Oil and gas production, which had dropped by 2.1% in December, rebounded in January with an increase of 2.6%, while mining output slipped by 0.4%. Despite the plunge in oil prices since the summer of 2014, oil production has held steadily. The National Energy Board predicts tat it will expand by 3.5% in 2015 compared with the previous year.
Employment is up again – After taking a break in February, employment started growing again in March, recording a gain of 28,700 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 6.8%. The upturn that we saw happen in March was entirely from part – time jobs. Retail and wholesale trade, which employs a large number of part-time workers, is the sector that achieved the largest gain, followed closely by that of transportation and warehousing. After two straight monthly declines, employment in the natural resources sector expanded in March.
Housing starts follow a downward trend – The number of housing starts tumbled by 16.4% in February, compared with the previous month. The drop was sharper in the multiple-unit segment than in that of single-family homes. i.e. 25.1% versus 4.1%
This article can be read in its entirety in the April 2015 edition of Business Development Bank of Canada.