08/30/2015 11:22 EDT | Updated 08/30/2016 05:59 EDT

Is Canada In A Recession Or Not? 5 Things To Watch For In Canadian Business This Week

TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
The Canadian flag flies at half-mast at the Consulate General of Canada in New York October 23, 2014. Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed the country would 'not be intimidated' after a reported Muslim convert stormed parliament and killed a soldier on October 22 in Ottawa. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. Clary (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO — As the federal election heads into its fifth week, a slew of economic data will reveal how Canada's economy is doing at mid-year. Five things to watch in Canadian business this week:

Alberta fiscal update: A financial report from Alberta on Monday should offer a glimpse into how the provincial government has been faring amid low crude prices. Finance Minister Joe Ceci will be expected to address how the NDP government plans to regain its fiscal footing.

GDP: Did Canada fall into a recession? That question has been the source of heated discussion in recent weeks. On Tuesday, Statistics Canada will shed light on that when it announces the gross domestic product for the second quarter of this year. A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Some economists say Canada likely met the technical definition of a recession but without some of the classic hallmarks of a severe downturn.

Alimentation Couche-Tard: Quebec-based convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard will report its first-quarter results on Tuesday. In July, the owner of Mac's and Couche-Tarde stores said its U.S. operation — where it operates mostly as Circle K — had its best quarterly perfromance since the financial crisis of 2008.

Sears Canada earnings: The Toronto-based retailer reports it second-quarter earnings Wednesday. Things haven't looked bright for the department store chain, which posted a $59.1 million loss in the previous quarter. The company is also on the search for a new CEO after the departure of Ronald Boire — the third to leave the job suddenly in two years.

Jobs: Many will be watching when Statistics Canada releases the jobs figures for August on Friday, particularly as they come in a federal election campaign where the economy has been a central issue. The country's unemployment rate has been stuck at 6.8 per cent for six months, so observers will be keenly looking out for any signs of movement.