November numbers released on Friday (January 29) pointed to more of the same downturns that have plagued the Canadian economy amid global oil crashes and consistently low commodity prices.
Even though the manufacturing, wholesale trade, and retail trade sectors posted some minuscule improvements, the ailing trend reflected in the flat GDP last October continues to rear its ugly head.
“The underlying story remains an economy that is struggling to post sustainable growth. We suspect December was just a so-so month for growth, and the first quarter faces a tough uphill battle amid the deep sag in oil and other commodity prices, as well as the stumbling start to the year for financial markets generally, and falling business and consumer confidence,” Bank of Montreal chief economist Douglas Porter stated in a research note, as quoted by The Globe and Mail
The National Bank
of Canada backed up Porter’s observations, saying that a 0.2 per cent projected growth in December would lead to a flat reading for Q4 2015—still a relatively positive outcome, but one that might prove to be a disastrous starting point for 2016.
“We needed a rebound in Canada, just to keep the fourth quarter from being the third negative quarter for the year,” Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce chief economist Avery Shenfeld said.
With the latest figures from Statistics Canada showing that Canadian real GDP rose only by a measly 0.3 per cent on a month over month basis last November, economists said that any substantial economic growth in the fourth quarter remains a dismal prospect, and would likely make viable steps towards a healthier GDP this year more difficult.