In these challenging times, Export Development Canada (EDC) is keeping a close eye on how the pandemic is affecting Canadian companies and the global economy. To help you monitor overall progress, our monthly Canadian Economic Recovery Tracker (CERT) offers timely insights from a variety of indicators—available several weeks before official statistics are released. For more information on the CERT methodology, click here.

Graph showing Canada's economic recovery since spring 2020


Canada’s recovery will be mixed amid growth concerns

Following the initial plunge in economic activity back in spring 2020, Canadian businesses and consumers appear to have adjusted their operations and habits with each successive wave of COVID-19 cases. Health issues and related concerns have been replaced by new risks,  like inflation and lower growth prospects. Canadians are still experiencing the effects of prolonged supply chain issues.

As of June 17, the CERT sits at 4% above pre-pandemic levels.

Lower sentiment is dragging spending down. Freight activity slows as supply issues persist.

Bar graph showing the growth of Canada's key indexes in comparison to pre-pandemic levels

Since the May 20 CERT release, new weekly COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline in Canada. Restrictions have significantly eased across the country and most public health mandates are now lifted.

Financial markets continue to be extremely volatile amid the Russia-Ukraine war and tightening monetary policy in response to record inflation. The Canadian price of oil (Western Canada Select) remains elevated and now sits at US$97 a barrel. 

The transportation and mobility index has improved as restrictions are eased and travel resumes. However, mobility to transit stations and workplaces remains depressed. Freight activity is trending below pre-pandemic levels. Flight activity has improved as pent-up demand builds ahead of summer travel season—still below pre-pandemic levels. 

Business and consumer sentiments have dropped as monetary policy tightens and geopolitical tensions remain high. Inflation continues to exceed normal levels and short-term global growth prospects are lower.

Housing, spending and employment* is stable. Online job postings have climbed to 70% above February 2020 levels. Hours worked are 1% above February 2020 levels. The slowdown in housing sales, which dropped to 6% below pre-pandemic levels, follows interest rate hikes from the Bank of Canada. Mobility activity across retail and recreation centres has surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

*Note: The housing, spending and employment component formerly included a consumer spending series, which has been substituted with a targeted mobility index. The transportation and mobility index has been adjusted accordingly.