Output in the the Canadian economy contracted 0.1 per cent in February after posting a 0.3 per cent increase in January. The decline in GDP was the result of a sixth straight monthly decline in the the mining and quarrying sector as global demand for metals and potash remains subdued. The oil and gas sector also declined due to mandated cuts to Alberta oil production. Activity at offices of real estate agents and brokers was down 6.6 per cent, the fourth decline in the last five months largely due to lower housing activity in BC and Ontario.
Given today's very weak GDP report, we are currently tracking first quarter growth in the Canadian economy at just 1 per cent. Slow economic growth should keep the Bank of Canada sidelined for much if not all of 2019, particularly if global trade uncertainty continues and if their optimistic forecast for a second half housing recovery does not come to pass.
Copyright British Columbia Real Estate Association. Reprinted with permission.