Canada’s economy posted a modest gain in February in spite of the high interest rate environment, but one economist said but there are signs of a slowdown on the horizon.
“(The data) show the economy still has some momentum — but that momentum might be fading away,” Charles St-Arnaud, chief economist with Alberta Central and former economist at the Bank of Canada, said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg on Friday. 
The latest figures from Statistics Canada, released on Friday, said gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.1 per cent in February from the month prior. However, a flash estimate for March showed a contraction of 0.1 per cent.
Up until now, the Canadian economy has shown reliance resilience to the high interest rate environment, but St-Arnaud said he is beginning to wonder how long that will last. 
In addition to a possible GDP contraction in March, Canadians are also battling with high debt levels, St-Arnaud added. Households have shown they can manage debt as long as they have income, but there is substantial risk of job losses if the economy slows, he cautioned. 
“The outlook for the labour market might be very key for the future,” he said.