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Canada’s GDP up just 0.1% in January, before coronavirus hit

Coronavirus outbreak: Morneau outlines measures feds taking to mitigate economic impact of COVID-19
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says the federal government is deferring GST/HST payments from businesses until the end of June so companies have money to pay their employees and bills during the COVID-19 crisis. He says the move will leave around $30 billion in cash in the hands of businesses. Morneau also says small businesses that access up to $40,000 in government-guaranteed, interest-free loans from banks to help endure the crisis could be allowed to keep up to $10,000 if they repay the rest of the loan by the end of 2022. The measures are part of a broader package of federal support for small businesses announced on Friday amid concerns about the impact the pandemic will have on the economy.

Statistics Canada says economic growth slowed in January in a snapshot of the economy before the novel coronavirus outbreak hit home.

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The agency says real gross domestic product grew 0.1 per cent in the first month of 2020 compared with an advance of 0.3 per cent in December. The result for January matched the expectations of economists, according to financial markets data firm Refinitiv.

CANADA'S MONTHLY CHANGE IN GDP

Statistics Canada says reduced trade with China and advisories against non-essential travel to the country affected potential growth in January. Since then, the agency says, the pandemic and a collapse in oil prices has significantly affected the economy.

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In January, manufacturing rose 0.8 per cent as both durable and non-durable manufacturing increased. The finance and insurance sector increased 0.9 per cent. The transportation and warehousing sector fell 1.7 per cent in January.