Canada’s real gross domestic product (GDP) rebounded 5 per cent in 2021, following a 5.1 per cent decline in 2020 due to the widespread shutdown in economic activity in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, reported Statistics Canada on Tuesday.
The federal agency said the reopening of the economy, combined with low interest rates and continued pandemic-related government support, resulted in substantial upturns in household spending, housing investment, and business investment.
“Real GDP rose in nine of the 10 provinces and in all three territories, with Saskatchewan (-0.9%) recording the only decline. Among the provinces, Prince Edward Island (+7.9 per cent), Nova Scotia (+6.2 per cent), and British Columbia (+6.1 per cent) had the largest annual increases in real GDP,” it said.
“Working from home, lower borrowing costs, coupled with reduced discretionary spending resulting in higher savings, boosted new home construction, renovations, and resales. Investment in housing rose by double digits, owing to record-high spending on new construction, renovations, and ownership transfer costs. Among the provinces, Alberta (+21.5 per cent), Saskatchewan (+20.7 per cent) and New Brunswick (+19.1 per cent) had the largest increases in housing investment.
“As households acquired debt to buy real estate, their ability to service that debt improved as a result of increased disposable income and continued low interest rates. Based on interest-only payments, debt-service ratios decreased in each province relative to a year earlier. While households in the Atlantic provinces (below 5.0 per cent) had the lowest debt-service ratios, these ratios were highest in Ontario (6.9 per cent) and in British Columbia (6.6 per cent).”
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