NEWS
05/31/2016 00:00 EDT | Updated 05/31/2017 01:12 EDT

Latest read on economy to come today with GDP results for first quarter

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada will provide its latest read on how the economy is performing later today when it releases gross domestic product results for the first three months of the year.

Economists expect the report to show the economy grew at an annual pace of 2.9 per cent for the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.

However, they are also expecting it to finish on a weak note with a month-over-month contraction of 0.1 per cent.

That would be the second consecutive month after a similar decline in February and growth of 0.6 per cent in January.

Economists have already raised concerns about that prospect, particularly as the GDP results do not take into account the damage to the economy wrought by the Alberta wildfires.

The Bank of Canada said last week that the fires that devastated parts of Fort McMurray, Alta., and forced the shutdown of several oilsands operations would shave 1.25 percentage points off real GDP growth in the second quarter.

The prediction implies the economy will contract in the second three months of the year.

In its monetary policy report in April, the central bank had predicted growth at an annual rate of 1.0 per cent for the second quarter.

The Bank of Canada is expected to update its full outlook for the economy and inflation in its next monetary policy report on July 13, when it also makes its next rate announcement.