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