Conference Board says Canada to avoid technical recession despite hit

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TORONTO — The Conference Board of Canada expects the country will avoid a technical recession as the economy rebounds from a 2.7 per cent contraction in the second quarter.

It expects business investment and exports to substantially decline and consumer spending to ease in the second quarter as the impact of COVID-19 takes hold.

However, it forecasts growth to resume in the third quarter with the overall Canadian economy expanding by just 0.3 per cent in 2020 and then 2.5 per cent in 2021.

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The global response to the novel coronavirus, including the closing of businesses and cancellation of sporting events, should result in large declines in the number of tourists coming to Canada this year and a cut in their spending. 

The board expects the job market will face a modest downturn as 138,000 jobs will be created for the year, down from 391,000 last year.

However, it expects the temporary nature of the coronavirus will prompt most firms to do their best to retain workers to be in a position to resume growth later in the year. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 17, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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