Economic Implications of Social Distancing: Alternate Canadian Outlook Scenario

The Conference Board of Canada, 12 pages, March 25, 2020
Issue Briefing
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This alternate scenario to our Spring 2020 Canadian Economic Outlook forecast includes the possible impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the oil price war, on the Canadian economy.

Document Highlights

  • In this alternate scenario, we assume that the travel bans and social distancing measures now in effect continue until the end of August in both Canada and the United States.
  • The result is a much deeper and longer-lasting hit to economic activity in Canada. Instead of growing 0.3 per cent as in our baseline forecast, real GDP is now forecast to contract by 1.1 per cent in 2020.
  • In this scenario, the economy sheds over 330,000 jobs over the second and third quarters of 2020, boosting the unemployment rate to 7.7 per cent.
  • With the COVID-19 pandemic contained by this coming September, a rebound in household spending is forecast to occur in the fourth quarter and into next year.
  • Pent-up demand will help economic activity rebound, with real GDP growth of 3.3 per cent forecast in 2021.

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