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Canada’s economy shrinks almost 12% in April in biggest contraction on record

Canada’s economic activity collapsed in April, with the country recording its biggest drop in output on record in the first full month of lockdowns to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gross domestic product shrank by 11.6%, adding to the 7.5% decline in March, Statistics Canada said Tuesday in Ottawa. Economists had anticipated a 12% contraction.

With the historic decline fully anticipated, the focus now shifts to how quickly and to what extent the economy will recover. May looks to have seen a small rebound, with the agency’s flash estimate predicting a 3% increase.

That would leave economic output at about 16% below levels in February and policy makers have been warning that a full recovery remains a long way off.

Tuesday’s report showed the downturn in April was broad-based, with all 20 industrial sectors down. Services-producing sectors recording a 9.7% decline, led by retail trade and transportation. Goods-producing industries saw a 17% decline in output.

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