It’s been almost six months since the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the way of life for all Manitobans.
Early days, the impact on the business community and the economy was a cause of major concern with polls indicating 30% of businesses wouldn’t survive. Since that time, as a result of a number of key government programs and the pivot that many businesses have made, the economic recovery has slowly become a little clearer and optimistic.
A new RBC Provincial Outlook, Provincial Economies: Diverse yet together in experiencing historic recession, highlights that Manitoba is expected to fare better than other provinces with a decrease in real GDP expected for 2020 of only -3.8 — much better than the Canadian average of -6.0. The outlook highlights several factors that have contributed to Manitoba’s “better than others” performance:
- Manitoba’s early success on keeping COVID cases low minimized the impact on the labour market
- Work on large capital projects such as the Roquette processing plant in Portage La Prairie continued with minimal disruption
- Consumers have shown greater resilience than other provinces; and
- Exporters experienced only a small decline in business overall
While by no means does this mean it is business as usual in Manitoba, these results provide a shred of hope and optimism that if we continue to be vigilant and disciplined in our approach to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, the Manitoba economy will recover.
To read the complete RBC Economics report, click here.