Fe­bru­ary GDP flat thanks to teach­ers strike, rail block­ades, COVID-19

The Chronicle Herald (Provincial) - - BUSINESS -

OT­TAWA — The Cana­dian econ­omy stalled in Fe­bru­ary as a teacher's strike in On­tario and the global spread of the coron­avirus dis­rupted the move­ment of peo­ple and goods, Statis­tics Canada said on Thurs­day. An­a­lysts in a Reuters poll had fore­cast an in­crease of 0.1 per cent in Fe­bru­ary, match­ing the 0.1 per cent rise seen in Jan­uary.

Statscan said the global spread of the coron­avirus, which forced of­fi­cials to shut­ter non-es­sen­tial busi­nesses across Canada be­gin­ning in mid-march, af­fected Canada's growth po­ten­tial in Fe­bru­ary be­cause of dis­rup­tions in global sup­ply chains and in­ter­na­tional travel.

Fur­ther eco­nomic dis­rup­tions will be re­flected in the March data.

In Fe­bru­ary, Statscan said ed­u­ca­tional ser­vices fell 1.8 per cent, the big­gest de­cline since June 2014, due to intensifyi­ng ro­tat­ing strikes by el­e­men­tary and sec­ondary school teach­ers in On­tario.

Mean­while, the coun­try's trans­porta­tion and ware­hous­ing sec­tor con­tracted 1.1 per cent in Fe­bru­ary, as seven of the 10 sub­sec­tors posted de­clines.

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