A Statistics Canada sign is pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Statistics Canada says economy grew 3.0 per cent in July

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says real gross domestic product grew by three per cent in July, matching the agency’s preliminary estimate.

The result compared with growth of 6.5 per cent in June.

Economists on average had also expected growth of three per cent for July, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The statistic agency’s report notes that all 20 industrial sectors it tracks posted increases in July, with agriculture, utilities, finance, insurance and real estate sectors recouping losses suffered since the start the pandemic.

Manufacturing grew 5.9 per cent in July, following a 15.1 per cent expansion in June as more operations ramped up production, but still remained about six per cent below where it was pre-pandemic.

The hard-hit accommodations and food services sector posted a third consecutive month of double-digit increases, jumping 20.1 per cent in July.

And the health care and social assistance sector rose by 3.7 per cent in July, as more doctors, dentists and diagnostic laboratories reopened in line with the rollback of restrictions.

Overall, Statistics Canada says the economy is still running about six per cent below its pre-pandemic level in February.

The agency also says growth likely continued in August albeit at a slower pace as it provided a preliminary estimate of a one per cent climb in GDP for the month.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld says in a note that the slowing of growth in August, coupled with rising COVID-19 case counts in recent weeks suggests the country may be in store for smaller gains in the coming months.

“Easing up on Covid-19 restraints fed into solid Canadian GDP gains in July and August, but the concerns now are whether we will pay for some of that greater openness,” he writes.

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