Scotiabank economist: Canada unlikely to avoid recession, despite Ottawa COVID-19 aid package
Some of Canada’s largest banks are revising down their growth forecasts once again as industry shutdowns and layoffs suggest the recession will be deeper than originally expected.
The nation’s economy is likely to shrink by somewhere between 10 per cent and 24 per cent in the second quarter on an annualized basis, the latest forecasts show. That would mark the largest quarterly decline since at least the early 1960s, when comparable data began.
That would also be much deeper than the current record of -8.7 per cent during the 2008-09 financial crisis. The labour market will take a beating as well with predictions for the unemployment rate to rise as high as 10 per cent. To put that in perspective, Canada’s job market was in fairly healthy condition until a month ago, with the unemployment rate below six per cent, close to all-time lows. The half-million jobless claims filed last week, representing 2.5 per cent of the labour force, has only reinforced the concerns.
Here are the latest revisions by Canada’s largest banks:
Bank of Montreal
- Predicts 2020 growth at -one per cent, down a full percentage point from last week’s call of zero
- Sees contractions of 2.5 per cent in 1Q and 10 per cent in 2Q, on annualized basis; big rebound in 2H
- Expects Bank of Canada to cut by 50 basis points by mid-April meeting
Bank of Nova Scotia
- Forecasts 2020 growth at -2.2 per cent
- Also predicts three straight quarters of negative growth
- Sees 1Q at -1.3 per cent, 2Q at -10.7 per cent, 3Q at -3.4 per cent, all annualized
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
- Expects 2020 GDP at -2.6 per cent
- Sees contractions in 1Q of 1.7 per cent and 2Q of 18.4 per cent; also sees unemployment rate peaking at 9.3 per cent in 3Q
- Predicts Bank of Canada to cut by 50 basis points, bringing target in line with the U.S. Fed
- Predicts 2020 GDP growth at -3.3 per cent
- Forecasts 1Q contraction of 1.2 per cent and 2Q of 24 per cent before 2H rebound
- Sees unemployment rate peaking at 9.8 per cent in 2Q