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Alternate Economic Outlook: The Conference Board of Canada estimates the economic implications of social distancing to August

Ottawa, ON, MARCH 23, 2020 (Globe Newswire) –The Conference Board of Canada releases an alternate scenario forecast that describes the economic implications if social distancing continued until the end of August, both in Canada and the United States. In this scenario, real GDP is forecast to fall by 1.1 per cent in 2020, instead of growing 0.3 per cent as in our baseline forecast.

“These are extraordinary times. Canadian leaders, business owners and households are facing unprecedented uncertainty, says Pedro Antunes, Chief Economist at The Conference Board of Canada. “If this scenario holds true, we can expect a deeper and longer-lasting hit to the Canadian economy. Still, governments have acted swiftly to mitigate health and economic impacts, once COVID-19 is contained, the economy will rebound.”

Sample findings:

  • It is estimated that the economy could shed over 330,000 jobs over the second and third quarters of 2020, boosting the unemployment rate to 7.7 per cent.
  • Industries servicing tourism, household services, and resource sector construction will be hit hard. Many of them will suffer double-digit declines in the second and third quarters.
  • A consumer-led recession in the United States is assumed, with real GDP declining by 1.1 per cent. With diminished demand from our most important trading partner, Canada’s real exports of goods and services are forecast to decline by 2.1 per cent in 2020.

This forecast also outlines implications to real estate markets, commodity prices and household spending. To read more, please go to here. For more insights and analysis on COVID-19, please visit our site here.

About The Conference Board of Canada

The Conference Board of Canada is Canada’s foremost independent, non-partisan, and evidenced-based applied research organization.  We equip leaders and decision-makers with the economic reports, custom research, data, networks and events they need to solve our country’s most pressing challenges. Our focus areas include Canadian Economics, Energy & Environment, Innovation & Technology, Immigration and more. We stand at the intersection of research and policy, where insights meet impact.

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