Canada’s economy is facing a tough climb to reach any meaningful growth this year after recession-level growth in the last half of 2012.
Output slipped back into reverse last month but still managed to eke out a gain for the final quarter of 2012 and end the year with total growth of 1.8% — down from 2.6% a year earlier.
While last year’s growth was below the Bank of Canada’s estimate of 1.9%, it was slightly better than many economists has been expecting.
Still, 2013 is shaping up as another under-performing year, with the central bank calling for 2% growth, but private sector analysts are expecting a much weaker performance as the global economy faces continued threats from Europe and fiscal uncertainty in the United States.
Statistics Canada said Friday that gross domestic product edged up 0.2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, the same pace as the July-to-September period. On an annualized basis, the economy grew by 0.6% in the fourth quarter, compared with 0.1% in the United States, which annualizes all of its quarterly growth numbers.
Canada’s fourth-quarter annualized growth was the weakest since a 0.8% decline in the second quarter of 2011, which was heavily impacted by the tsunami in Japan. Meanwhile, third-quarter annualized growth was 0.7%, which was down from 1.9% in the second quarter and 1.2% in the first three month of 2012.
Together, those two quarters reflected the poorest economic performance for Canada since the 2008-09 recession.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor