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Canada's GDP down 5.4 per cent in 2020, worst year on record

Last Updated Mar 2, 2021 at 7:02 am PDT

Statistics Canada's offices at Tunny's Pasture in Ottawa are shown on Friday, March 8, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

Real GDP contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020, Statistics Canada says

Canadian economy posted its worst showing on record last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) – Canada’s real gross domestic product contracted 5.4 per cent in 2020.

The economy posted its worst showing on record last year as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Canada.

Statistics Canada says the 5.4 per cent decline in real GDP is the steepest annual drop since quarterly data were first recorded in 1961.

The drop was heavily driven by lockdowns in March and April — the beginning of the pandemic — which shuttered businesses and put people out of work.

Since then, economic activity has slowly and steadily grown.

Statistics Canada says the economy grew at an annualized rate of 9.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year, down from an annualized growth rate of 40.6 per cent in the third quarter.

That was higher than expected, with financial data firm Refinitiv’s average economist estimate at 7.5 per cent.