Our economy receded for the first time since the ‘Great Recession’ as exports plummet. We’re number 2 after Japan! (in droppage).
The economy shrank at an annualized rate of 0.4 per cent in the second quarter, the first contraction since the Great Recession, and a sharp reversal from the 3.6-per-cent growth rate of the first quarter, Statistics Canada figures showed. It’s a sign that Canada, envied by many countries as a bastion of stability since the financial crisis, is not immune to global economic malaise.
In fact, among the Group of Seven club of rich economies, only Japan had a worse second quarter.
Sales abroad staged their steepest drop in two years, with exports plummeting more than 8 per cent on an annual basis. The high-flying Canadian dollar made it harder for businesses to sell their goods to weakening markets in the United States and Europe. Also, Japan’s natural disasters created havoc in the automobile industry, while wildfires in northern Alberta and maintenance shutdowns in the oil industry curtailed energy production.
But there’s a bright side to Canada’s performance. Company purchases of machinery and equipment in Canada soared at a 31-per-cent annualized pace in the second quarter, the biggest surge since 1996.