March 11, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Department of Finance Canada
Today, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, and the Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance, the Honourable Mona Fortier, welcomed the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s 2021 Economic Survey of Canada. The report noted that Canada has suffered fewer COVID-19 related deaths than the OECD average, confirms that the Canadian economy remains well positioned to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, and estimates that Canada will see real gross domestic product (GDP) growth of around 4.7 percent this year, a significant upward revision from the OECD’s December estimate.
The OECD report outlined support for the government’s strategy of continuing to invest in the pandemic response and the economic recovery and noted that “prudent fiscal policy in the years prior to the pandemic has helped provide scope for a large stimulus.” The OECD found that the government’s quick action and broad support measures “will have bolstered output by around 5 percentage points of GDP in both 2020 and 2021, implying a considerably smaller increase in unemployment than would have occurred otherwise.”
The report noted that “Canada’s economy remains vulnerable in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis,” and that a “high priority on fiscal support should remain while the economy is fragile.” The OECD emphasized its view that the government should “continue fiscal support until the economic recovery is well underway.”
The report commented that “Canada’s federal system of government proved capable of a rapid and co-ordinated policy response. Low public debt prior to the crisis has helped provide headroom for substantial tax and spending measures.”
In looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead, the report highlighted the need to liberalize inter-provincial trade.