OTTAWA – The Trudeau Liberals say they expect nearly two million Canadians to remain without jobs this year as the COVID-19 pandemic drags down the domestic economy and federal aid sends the deficit to a historic $343 billion.
The economic and fiscal “snapshot” from the government lays out the Liberals’ belief that there will be a slow return to a new normal, with unemployment high and economic growth low through to at least the end of 2021.
#Breaking Federal deficit forecast at $343 billion. Slow recovery expected with continued high unemployment to 2021. Meaningful recovery won’t happen before a Covid 19 vaccine or treatment is developed. May be more negatively impacted by prolonged shutdown or a second wave.
— mike eppel (@eppman) July 8, 2020
Even though the government believes the worst of the economic harm from the pandemic is behind the country, the document says a recovery can’t begin in earnest until an effective vaccine or treatment becomes widely available.
Things could, however, get worse under two alternative scenarios the Finance Department lays out.
Should prolonged shutdowns stay in place, or restrictions not fully rollback, a return to normal activity for households and businesses will be uneven and slower than hoped for, leading to a more pronounced drop in economic output than is already expected.
And should the country be hit with a second wave of the novel coronavirus during the annual flu season, the ensuing lockdown would cause what the Finance Department describes as a “deeper and longer-lasting negative impact on the economy.”