Manitoba’s fall COVID-19 surge is expected to delay economic recovery until 2022

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After claiming the lives of dozens of Manitobans, the fall spike in COVID-19 cases is now expected to hit the provincial economy enough to delay the recovery until 2022.The Conference Board of Canada expects economic growth and employment in Manitoba to be lower than in Canada as a whole next year, mainly due to the huge increase in COVID-19 cases this fall and the resulting restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease. .

“In light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the province, we anticipate that Manitoba’s recovery to full economic health will be delayed until 2022,” the council said in a provincial economic outlook publication whose release is scheduled for next week.

“Manitoba did well during the first wave of COVID-19 in Canada earlier this year, reporting far fewer cases than many other provinces. But he was unable to escape the second wave of the pandemic.

Manitoba has the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in Canada. In recent weeks, hundreds of new cases have been reported daily in a province of just under 1.4 million people.

As a result, the Conference Board expects Manitoba’s real gross domestic product to decline 6.2% this year, which is better than the 6.6% contraction forecast for Canada as a whole. In 2021, Manitoba’s economy is expected to grow 3.5%, more than two points below the national rebound of 5.6%.

The employment situation is not much better. Employment in Manitoba is expected to decline 3.2% this year, which is much better than the national decline of 5.4%. In 2021, employment in Manitoba is forecast to increase 3.6%, below a national increase of 4.9%.

“After recovering most of the jobs lost due to factors linked to the pandemic, the province now faces difficult months with the upsurge in cases and the resulting increase in restrictions,” the council said in its report. .

The Conference Board says Manitoba’s economy outperformed Canada as a whole this year in employment and sales, although housing starts were below the national average.

He expects Manitoba’s manufacturing sector to decline 9.6% this year, mainly due to lower demand for aerospace and transportation equipment during the pandemic.

The Conference Board expects the transportation and warehousing sector to decline 15.9% this year, and recover only slightly in 2021.

Greater stability in the finance, insurance and real estate sectors, however, will provide the province with some stability next year, according to the report.

The Progressive Conservative government of Manitoba is more optimistic than the Conference Board.

“While the economic impact of the pandemic has been difficult for all provinces, Manitoba’s economy is doing better than most and is among the best in terms of jobs, unemployment rates, sales in retail, manufacturing sales, exports of goods and residential and non-residential products. investment, ”Finance Minister Scott Fielding said in a statement.

Fielding’s office said a survey of the economic forecast suggests the provincial economy could decline 3.1 to 6.3 percent this year.

He did not present a projection for 2021.

“We have maintained a cautious approach to our forecast for provincial GDP during the pandemic and have recognized that significant risks remain that could fundamentally change the outlook,” said Fielding.

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