: Ontario Economic Accounts

First Quarter of 2020
(January, February, March)
Ontario Ministry of Finance

Table of Contents

ECONOMIC ACCOUNTS

RECENT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS

Economic Accounts

Highlights

Ontario’s Real GDP Down in Q1

Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP) declined 2.0% in the first quarter (January, February, March) of 2020, largely reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during the last two weeks of the quarter.

  • Nominal GDP decreased 1.5%, as compensation of employees declined 0.7% and the net operating surplus of corporations contracted by 4.9%.
  • Economic production measured on an industry basis decreased 1.9%. Service sector output declined by 2.1%, while output in goods-producing industries decreased 1.2%.

Expenditure Details

Real GDP Contracts

Ontario’s real GDP decreased by 2.0% in the first quarter of 2020, after edging up 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019.  This was the first quarterly decline since the second quarter of 2011.

Household consumption spending was down 2.0%, the steepest decline since the first quarter of 1991.  Consumer spending on durables declined 6.2%, led by a sharp drop in motor vehicle purchases.  Spending on semi-durable goods (−9.0%) and services (−2.6%) also decreased with clothing stores, restaurants and travel services all impacted.  Spending on non-durable goods rose 4.1% as consumer stockpiling, especially of food items, was prevalent.

Total business investment edged down 0.2% in the first quarter, driven by machinery and equipment (−2.5%). This was partially offset by higher investment in residential construction (+0.1%), non-residential structures (+1.6%) and intellectual property products (+0.2%).

Spending at all three levels of government combined declined by 0.7%, following a 0.3% rise in the previous quarter.

Exports (−3.1%) and imports (−2.3%) both declined in the first quarter largely reflecting rail blockades, plant shutdowns and lower demand as a result of COVID-19.

Supply chain disruptions resulted in businesses drawing down $1.5 billion worth of non-farm inventories, following a $4.2 billion accumulation in the fourth quarter.

Income Details

Nominal GDP Lower

Ontario’s nominal GDP declined 1.5%, the first quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2008.

Compensation of employees, which includes both wages and salaries and supplementary labour income, decreased by 0.7%, after increasing 0.9% in the previous quarter.

Business sector profits, measured by the net operating surplus of corporations, decreased 4.9% in the first quarter of 2020, after increasing by 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Net mixed income, which is comprised of farm, non-farm and rental income, increased 1.5%, after a gain of 1.9% in the previous quarter.

Household disposable income, which measures all sources of income and excludes personal income taxes paid and other transfers, increased 0.5%, following a 1.2% advance in the previous quarter.

Price Details

Economy-Wide Prices

Economy-wide prices, as measured by the implicit price index for GDP, rose 0.6% in the first quarter of 2020, matching the rise in the previous two quarters.

Prices for household consumption expenditures edged up 0.1%, after rising 0.2% in the previous quarter. Prices for motor vehicles and clothing advanced, while prices for electricity, natural gas, and gasoline declined in the first quarter.

Business investment prices increased 1.6%, as prices in residential construction (+2.3%), non-residential construction (+0.4%) and machinery and equipment (+1.5%) all trended higher in the first quarter.

Export prices rose 0.4%, while import prices were flat in the first quarter of 2020. During this period, the Canadian dollar depreciated 1.8% against the U.S. dollar.

Industry Details

GDP Growth by Industry

Ontario real GDP, measured as value-added by industry, declined 1.9% in the first quarter of 2020, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous quarter. The decline was led by lower output in service-producing industries (−2.1%), while output in goods production (−1.2%) also decreased in the quarter.

Manufacturing output decreased 2.3% in the first quarter. This was led by lower output in transportation equipment  (−12.2%), in part reflecting temporary shutdowns at some assembly plants due to COVID-19 lockdowns and rail disruptions early in the year. Declines were also recorded in plastic and rubber products (−7.8%), machinery (−4.9%) and textile, clothing and leather (−18.5%) manufacturing due to temporary plant shutdowns and global supply chain disruptions.

Construction output was 0.4% higher, as both non-residential structures and engineering (+0.6%) and residential construction (+0.1%) output rose in the quarter.

Primary industry output decreased 1.4%, with agriculture and forestry (−2.1%) and mining (−0.5%) output declining.

Utilities output edged up 0.1%, as an increase in electric power (+0.9%) was partially offset by a decline in natural gas, water and other utilities (−2.4%).

Lower output in service-producing industries was driven by educational services (−6.9%), professional and administrative services (−2.7%) and accommodation and food services (−12.4%).

Jurisdictional Comparisons

Ontario Growth in Context

The outbreak and global spread of COVID-19 has negatively impacted the global and Canadian economies.

Canadian real GDP declined 2.1% in the first quarter of 2020, after edging up 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Household spending declined 2.3%, the steepest quarterly decrease on record. Lower investment in machinery and equipment (−3.5%) and exports (−3.0%) also contributed to the overall decline.

Quebec’s real GDP declined 2.7% in the first quarter, driven by lower household spending (−2.9%) and exports (−3.1%). This follows a 0.3% increase in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In the U.S., real GDP declined 1.3% in the first quarter, after rising 0.5% in the fourth quarter of 2019. Household consumption (−1.8%), exports (−2.3%), and machinery and equipment (−4.4%) all declined in the quarter.

Recent Economic Developments

Global Economic Developments

COVID-19 Impacts Global Economy

The COVID-19 pandemic triggered significant economic downturns across the world as people sheltered at home and businesses laid off workers. Real GDP in the euro area declined 3.6% in the first quarter of 2020, following 0.1% growth in the previous quarter. As countries implemented strict lockdown measures late in the quarter to contain the pandemic, real GDP in Italy and France both contracted 5.3%, while Spain’s GDP declined 5.2%. Germany’s GDP contracted 2.2% after a 0.1% decline in the fourth quarter. Real GDP in the United Kingdom declined by 2.0%.

Japan’s real GDP declined 0.6% in the first quarter following a 1.9% decline in the previous quarter. This represents Japan’s first recession since 2015. China’s real GDP declined 9.8% as strict lockdown measures were imposed for much of the first quarter.

The U.S. economy contracted 1.3% in the first quarter of 2020, following a 0.5% gain in the previous quarter. The decline reflected the response to the spread of COVID-19 as many state governments issued stay-at-home orders in March. Lower personal consumption expenditure (−1.8%), non-residential investment (−1.6%) and exports (−2.3%) contributed to the decline. The overall decrease was partially offset by a third consecutive quarterly rise in residential investment, which increased 4.3%, and by government spending, which increased 0.3%. Imports declined 4.2%, helping to support GDP growth.

U.S. employment declined by a combined 22.2 million in March and April. Employment rose by 2.7 million in May followed by another 4.8 million increase in June. The unemployment rate declined by 3.6 percentage points from its peak in April to 11.1% in June, reflecting a gradual resumption of economic activity. However, the unemployment rate remains 7.6 percentage points higher and the employment level 14.7 million lower compared to February 2020.

Markets Beginning To Recover

Economies have begun to gradually resume activity following pandemic-related lockdowns, but uncertainty remains heightened.

Demand for oil declined sharply in March and April as travel restrictions took hold while the supply of oil remained elevated, leading to an acute shortage of storage space and briefly sending oil prices into negative territory for the first time. The West Texas Intermediate oil price declined to −US$37 per barrel in late April before recovering to around US$38 per barrel by early June as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major oil producers agreed to cut production.

The Canadian dollar regained some strength, trading slightly above 73 cents U.S. in mid-June after weakening to below 70 cents U.S. in March.

Major stock indices declined sharply in the first quarter, with the U.S. S&P 500 (−34%) and Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite (−37%) down in March from their respective February peak. Both indices have since recovered from their March lows but remain below their pre-pandemic highs in level terms.

Uncertainty has kept demand for safer assets high and, as a result, yields for long-term government bonds low. The Canadian 10-year government bond yield hovered around 0.5% in mid-June, after averaging 1.2% in the first quarter.

Major central banks have maintained interest rate cuts and brought in liquidity measures to support their economies. The U.S. Federal Reserve maintained the target range for its federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25% in June and committed to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy. The Bank of England maintained its bank rate at 0.1% in May, and the European Central Bank kept its key policy rate at −0.5% in June. The Bank of Canada also maintained its key policy interest rate at 0.25% in June.

Employment

Labour Market Overview

Ontario’s employment declined by nearly 1.2 million jobs   (−15.3%) between February and May 2020, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June employment increased by 377,900 jobs (+5.9%).

Between February and May, both full-time (−12.5%) and part-time (−28.2%) positions posted significant declines. Both of these increased sharply in June with full-time positions up 4.0% and part-time positions up 16.2%.

Most of the decline between February and May was concentrated in the private sector (−19.3%), while public sector (−10.4%) and self employment (−5.1%) also decreased.  Most of the recovery in June was in private sector employment (+8.1%), while public sector (+4.0%) and self employment (+0.6%) also increased.

There were notable employment declines in both service-producing (−15.3%) and goods-producing (−15.4%) industries between February and May. There was a strong recovery in June for both services (+5.4%) and goods (+8.0%) employment.

The unemployment rate rose sharply from February to May (+8.1 percentage points) reaching 13.6%, the highest unemployment rate on record.  In June, the unemployment rate decreased to 12.2%.


Note: More information on Ontario labour market performance can be found in the Quarterly Ontario
Employment Report at: https://www.ontario.ca/document/ontario-employment-reports

Consumer and Business Activity

Retail and Wholesale Trade and Manufacturing Sales

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted consumer and business activity late in March.  Early in 2020, consumer and business activity was steady with retail sales and wholesale trade rising modestly.

Following an increase of 1.0% in February, retail sales declined by 8.5% in March and a further 32.8% in April.  The decline was led by lower sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and clothing and accessories stores.

Wholesale trade decreased by 4.2% in March and 30.2% in April, following increases of 1.0% in February and 2.1% in January.  Since February, the declines were led by lower sales of motor vehicles and parts (−89.1%) and building materials and supplies (−30.7%).

Following an increase of 3.2% in February, manufacturing sales declined by 14.4% in March and a further 37.1% in April.  Since February, the decline was led by lower sales of transportation equipment (−92.4%).

Housing

Housing Market Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted Ontario’s resale housing market. Sales of existing homes rose strongly in early 2020, before declining sharply in March and April, followed by a modest rebound in May. Overall, home resales were 21.3% lower over the first five months of 2020, compared to the first five months of 2019.

Ontario’s average home resale price has trended upward since early 2019, through early 2020. The average home resale price declined in March and April, before rebounding in May. On a year-to-date basis, the average home resale price was 9.1% higher than the same period in 2019.

On a year-to-date basis, housing starts rose 12.6% in the first six months of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Both single-detached (+12.3%) and multiple-unit (+12.8%) starts rose over the period.

In Focus

Teleworking Trends During COVID-19

Governments across Canada have introduced a series of physical distancing measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, including orders closing or restricting businesses. This has resulted in a large number of Canadians teleworking or working remotely, many for the first time.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the share of Ontario’s employers with 80% or more of their workforce teleworking or working remotely nearly quadrupled, increasing to 31.7% on March 31, 2020 from 8.2% prior to February 1, 20201.

Ontario outpaced other Canadian provinces and had the highest share of employers with at least 50% of their workforce teleworking or working remotely. Ontario’s share increased from 12.1% prior to February 1, 2020 to 38.3% on March 31, 2020 and remained above the national average.

In Canada, information and cultural industries (84.6%) had the greatest share of employers with at least half of their workforce teleworking or working remotely on March 31, 2020, while accommodation and food services had the lowest share (8.3%).

The top five industries with the highest share of employers with at least half of their workforce teleworking or working remotely made up 24.2% of total employment, while the bottom five industries with the smallest share made up 36.1% of total employment. These findings suggest that most workers in the top five industries with the greatest share of workers teleworking have jobs that allow them to perform their work from home, which is typically linked with higher levels of education2. Meanwhile jobs with the lowest shares usually require face-to-face interactions or on location presence and have limited telework capacity.

[1] The data presented in this In Focus is based on the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions, which includes responses from more than 12,600 businesses that took part in an online questionnaire on Statistics Canada’s website about how COVID-19 is affecting their businesses. Businesses were not randomly selected and as a result, the findings cannot be applied to the overall Canadian economy.

[2] Statistics Canada (2020). Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 1: COVID-19 and working from home, 2020.

Appendix

OEA Release Dates

The Fiscal Sustainability, Transparency and Accountability Act, 2019 states that the quarterly Ontario Economic Accounts should be released within 45 days of the Statistics Canada release of the National Income and Expenditure Accounts.

In compliance with the legislation, the OEA will be released according to the following schedule:

Reference Period Expected Statistics Canada release of National Income and Expenditure Accounts Corresponding deadline for the release of Ontario Economic Accounts
Second Quarter
(April-June) 2020
August 28, 2020 By October 13, 2020
Third Quarter
(July-September) 2020
December 1, 2020 By January 15, 2021
Fourth Quarter
(October-December) 2020
March 2, 2021 By April 16, 2021

Structure of the Ontario Economy

Per Cent Share of Nominal GDP, 2019
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding.
Source: Statistics Canada
Larger version of image
Accessible version of image

How GDP is Measured

The Ontario Economic Accounts provide measurements of GDP using three different methodologies, by expenditure, income and industry.

The GDP by expenditure approach defines GDP as the aggregate of all expenditures on final consumption, gross capital formation and net trade by consumers, governments and businesses that occur within Ontario’s economy over a given time period. This measurement of GDP can also be defined as the sum of consumer spending, gross investment, government spending and net trade.

The GDP by income approach equates GDP to the total income earned through contributions to production within Ontario’s economy by labour and capital over a given time period. That is, GDP is the sum of all wages and salaries paid to employees, the gross operating surplus of businesses, gross mixed income and indirect taxes less subsidies.

The GDP by industry approach measures GDP by calculating the total output of the goods and services producing industries within Ontario’s economy and subtracting the cost of intermediate inputs used in final production. This approach can also be referred to as the value-added approach as it quantifies the additional value generated by industries through the production of final products within the economy.

For a full list of definitions used in the Ontario Economic Accounts, please see Statistics Canada’s System of Macroeconomic Accounts Glossary at https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/13-605-x/gloss/gloss-a-eng.htm.

List of Data Tables

Income and Expenditure Data

Quarterly Data, 2017:Q1–2020:Q1

Table 1: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Income-Based)
Table 2: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Expenditure-Based)
Table 3: Ontario Gross Domestic Product at Chained 2012 Prices
Table 4: Sources and Disposition of Ontario Household Income
Table 5: Ontario Trade
Table 6: Ontario Trade (Chained 2012 Prices)
Table 7: Ontario Deflators

Annual Data, 2016-2019

Table 8: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Income-Based)
Table 9: Ontario Gross Domestic Product (Expenditure-Based)
Table 10: Ontario Gross Domestic Product at Chained 2012 Prices
Table 11: Sources and Disposition of Ontario Household Income
Table 12: Ontario Trade
Table 13: Ontario Trade (Chained 2012 Prices)
Table 14: Ontario Deflators

Ontario Production by Industry at 2012 Prices

Table 15: Quarterly Data, 2017:Q1-2020:Q1
Table 16: Annual Data, 2016-2019

Historical tables, both annual and quarterly available from 1981.
DOWNLOAD EXCEL FORMAT

Send us your questions or comments.

Graphic Descriptions

Highlights: Ontario GDP, First Quarter 2020

The chart indicates the per cent change in real and nominal GDP in the first quarter of 2020. Real GDP declined 2.0% and nominal GDP decreased 1.5% in the quarter.

Return to graphic

Expenditure Details: Real GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly per cent real GDP growth from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Ontario has experienced real GDP growth over the entire period up until the first quarter of 2020.  Real GDP declined 2.0% in the first quarter of 2020, after edging up 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2019. The first quarter of 2017 recorded the strongest gain over the period, at 1.3%.

Return to graphic

Expenditure Details: Real GDP Change by Expenditure Component

The horizontal bar chart depicts the per cent change in Ontario’s real GDP and its components for the first quarter of 2020. Real GDP declined 2.0% in the quarter, with decreases in household consumption (−2.0%), business investment (−0.2%), government (−0.7%), exports (−3.1%) and imports (−2.3%).

Return to graphic

Expenditure Details: Real Export and Import Growth

The bar chart shows the quarterly per cent change in real exports and imports from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Exports decreased by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2020 while imports declined by 2.3%.

Return to graphic

Income Details: Nominal GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly per cent nominal GDP growth from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Ontario has experienced nominal GDP growth over the entire period, except for the fourth quarter of 2018, when growth was flat and in the most recent quarter. Nominal GDP declined 1.5% in the first quarter of 2020.

Return to graphic

Income Details: Nominal GDP Change by Income Component

The horizontal bar chart depicts the per cent change in nominal GDP and its components for the first quarter of 2020. Nominal GDP declined 1.5% in the first quarter, with decreases in compensation of employees (−0.7%) and net operating surplus (−4.9%). Net mixed income increased by 1.5% in the first quarter of 2020.

Return to graphic

Income Details: Compensation of Employees Growth

The bar chart shows Ontario’s quarterly growth of employee compensation in per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Compensation of employees has risen in every quarter over the period, except for the first quarter of 2016 when it declined by 0.7% and for the first quarter of 2020. Compensation of employees declined 0.7% in the first quarter of 2020, following a 0.9% gain in the fourth quarter of 2019. The fourth quarter of 2017 recorded the strongest gain over the period, at 2.0%.

Return to graphic

Price Details: Economy-Wide Price Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly growth of economy-wide prices in per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Economy-wide prices increased 0.6% in the first quarter of 2020, matching the increases in the third and fourth quarters of 2019. The strongest increase over the period was in the second quarter of 2019, at 1.2%. Declines of 0.1% were recorded in the second and third quarter of 2017.

Return to graphic

Price Details: Price Change by Expenditure Component

The horizontal bar chart shows the per cent change in prices by expenditure component for the first quarter of 2020. Prices increased for household consumption (+0.1%), business investment (+1.6%), government (+1.4%) and exports (+0.4%). Import prices were unchanged (flat) in the first quarter.

Return to graphic

Price Details: Export and Import Price Growth

The bar chart illustrates Ontario’s quarterly growth of export and import prices in per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. In the first quarter of 2020, export prices increased 0.4% while import prices remained unchanged. Since 2016, the largest gain in export prices occurred in the second quarter of 2018 when they rose 2.0%.  The largest gain in import prices since 2016, occurred in the second quarter of 2018 and in the second quarter of 2017 when they rose 2.3%.  The largest fall in import (−3.2%) and export (−3.0%) prices was in the third quarter of 2017.

Return to graphic

Industry Details: Real GDP Growth by Industry

The bar chart depicts Ontario’s quarterly growth of real GDP by industry in per cent from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Ontario real GDP declined 1.9% in the first quarter of 2020, following a 0.2% increase. Real GDP by industry has grown over the entire period, except the second (−0.4%) and fourth (−0.2%) quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2020 (−1.9%). The strongest gain was recorded in the first quarter of 2017 (+1.6%).

Return to graphic

Industry Details: Real GDP Change by Industry

The horizontal bar chart illustrates the per cent change in real GDP by industry for the first quarter of 2020. The output of all industries declined 1.9% in the quarter. Output declined in goods-producing industries (−1.2%), with industry changes as follows: manufacturing (−2.3%); primary industries (−1.4%); utilities (+0.1%); and construction (+0.4%). Output in the service industries decreased 2.1%, including industry changes as follows: other services (−4.9%); health, education and public administration (−3.4%); professional and administrative services (−2.7%); retail trade (−1.9%); wholesale trade (−0.5%); finance and insurance (−0.4%); and real estate, rental and leasing (+1.2%).

Return to graphic

Industry Details: Real GDP Change by Manufacturing Industry

The horizontal bar chart shows the per cent change in real GDP by manufacturing industry for the first quarter of 2020. In total, output by manufacturing industries declined 2.3% in the quarter. The change in output of each manufacturing industry is as follows: other manufacturing (+7.2%); food, beverage and tobacco (+6.4%); primary and fabricated metal (+3.2%); chemical and petroleum (+0.2%); paper and printing (−2.9%); wood and furniture (−4.5%); machinery (−4.9%); electrical and electronic (−5.5%); plastic and rubber (−7.8%); transportation equipment (−12.2%); and textile, clothing and leather (−18.5%).

Return to graphic

Juristictional Comparisons: Canadian Real GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Canada’s quarterly per cent real GDP growth from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Canadian real GDP declined 2.1% in the first quarter of 2020, after edging up 0.1%  in the previous quarter. The largest gain over the period was 1.2% in the first and second quarter of 2017, and the largest decline was in the  quarter  of 2020.

Return to graphic

Jurisdictional Comparisons: Quebec Real GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates Quebec’s quarterly per cent real GDP growth from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. Quebec has experienced real GDP growth over the entire period, with the exception of the first quarter of 2020. Quebec real GDP declined 2.7% in the first quarter of 2020, following an increase of 0.3% in the previous quarter. The largest gain over the period was 1.0% in the first quarter of 2017.

Return to graphic

Jurisdictional Comparisons: U.S. Real GDP Growth

The bar chart illustrates the U.S.’s quarterly per cent real GDP growth from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. U.S. real GDP declined 1.3% in the first quarter of 2020, following increases of 0.5% in the previous three quarters. The U.S. has experienced real GDP growth over the entire period, with the exception of the first quarter of 2020. The largest gain over the period was in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018 (both at 0.9%).

Return to graphic

Global Economic Developments: Real GDP Growth

This bar chart shows quarterly percentage changes in real GDP for the U.S., the Euro area, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and China for the fourth quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. U.S. real GDP grew 0.5% in the fourth quarter and contracted 1.3% in the first quarter. Euro area real GDP increased 0.1% in the fourth quarter and contracted 3.6% in the first quarter. Germany’s real GDP contracted 0.1% in the fourth quarter and a further 2.2% in the first quarter. Real GDP in the United Kingdom experienced no growth in the fourth quarter and declined 2.0% in the first quarter. Japan’s real GDP contracted 1.9% in the fourth quarter and 0.6% in the first quarter. China’s real GDP advanced 1.5% in the fourth quarter and declined 9.8% in the first quarter.

Return to graphic

Global Economic Developments: U.S. Real GDP Growth

The bar chart shows U.S. real GDP growth from the first quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2020. U.S. real GDP contracted 1.3% in the first quarter of 2020 following three consecutive quarterly increases of 0.5%. U.S. quarterly growth averaged 0.6% from the first quarter of 2016 through the fourth quarter of 2019.

Return to graphic

Global Economic Developments: U.S. Labour Market

This chart shows the U.S. unemployment rate in per cent from January 2016 to June 2020. The unemployment rate gradually lowered from around 4.7% in 2016 to 3.5% in February 2020. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% in March and 14.7% in April before easing to 13.3% in May and 11.1% in June.

Return to graphic

Global Economic Developments: Oil Prices and the Canadian Dollar

The line chart shows the daily oil prices ($US per barrel) and Canadian dollar exchange rate (cents U.S.) between January 1, 2016 and June 8, 2020. Starting in 2016, the Canadian dollar rose, peaking at about 82 cents in September 2017 before trending down to about 75 cents in February 2020. In March the Canadian dollar declined sharply to around 70 cents U.S. before recovering to around 74 cents U.S. in early June. WTI oil prices rose steadily between 2016 and 2018, rising from below $30 to $77 US per barrel in June 2018. Prices declined to around $45 US per barrel at the end of 2018. Priced trended up slightly in 2019 to about $60 US per barrel in December before declining aggressively and briefly reached a negative of $37 U.S. per barrel in April. The oil price has since gained to around $38 U.S. per barrel in early June.

Return to graphic

Global Economic Developments: Stock Market Indices

The line chart shows the daily value of the S&P 500, Nikkei, S&P TSX and Euro Stoxx 50 stock indexes from January 2016 to March 2020. All are indexed to January 4, 2016 equaling 100. All indices trended upwards in 2019 and early 2020, peaking in late February 2020, before declining sharply and reaching the bottom in March. The indices have climbed up since but remain below the levels seen at the peak in February 2020.

Return to graphic

Global Economic Developments: Government of Canada 10-Year Bond Rates

This line chart shows rates for Government of Canada 10-year bonds from January 2016 to June 15, 2020. The rate rose relatively steadily from about 1.3% at the beginning of 2016 to 2.6% in October 2018 and had declined to about 0.6% in May 2020. The rate currently stands at around 0.5% in mid-June.

Return to graphic

Employment: Employment Change From February to May

The bar chart illustrates the breakdown in the per cent change in employment from February to May 2020. Total employment declined by 15.3%. Changes were as follows: private sector −19.3%, public sector −10.4% and self-employed −5.1%; full-time −12.5% and part-time −28.2%; and goods −15.4% and services −15.3%.

Return to graphic

Employment: Employment Change June 2020

The bar chart illustrates the breakdown in the per cent change in employment in June 2020. Total employment rose by 5.9%. Changes were as follows: private sector +8.1%, public sector +4.0% and self-employed +0.6%; full-time +4.0% and part-time +16.2%; and goods +8.0% and services +5.4%.

Return to graphic

Employment: Ontario’s Employment and Unemployment Rate

The chart shows Ontario’s monthly employment level as a shaded area and unemployment rate as a line from January 2018 to June 2020. The unemployment rate trended down from 5.9% in early 2019 to 5.5% in February 2020 and has since increased to 13.6% in May 2020. In June 2020, the unemployment rate declined to 12.2%. Employment has increased steadily over the period from about 7.2 million in January 2018 to about 7.6 million in February 2020 and has since declined to 6.4 million in May 2020. In June 2020, employment increased to 6.8 million.

Return to graphic

Consumer and Business Activity: Retail Sales

The line chart shows Ontario’s retail sales in billions of dollars from January 2016 to April 2020. Ontario’s retail sales have trended upwards from $16.5 billion in January 2016 to $19.9 billion in February 2020. Since then there was a sharp decline to $12.2 billion in April 2020.  On a year-to-date basis, Ontario’s retail sales declined 9.2% over the first four months of 2020.

Return to graphic

Consumer and Business Activity: Wholesale Trade

The line chart shows Ontario’s wholesale trade in billions of dollars from January 2016 to April 2020. Ontario’s wholesale trade has trended upwards from $29.1 billion in January 2016 to $34.4 billion in February 2020. Since then, wholesale trade has declined to $23.0 billion in April 2020. On a year-to-date basis, Ontario’s wholesale trade declined 4.9% over the first four months of 2020.

Return to graphic

Consumer and Business Activity: Manufacturing Sales

The line chart shows Ontario’s manufacturing sales in billions of dollars from January 2016 to April 2020. Ontario’s manufacturing sales have fluctuated over the period, largely remaining between $24 billion and $27 billion. Most recently, manufacturing sales have declined to $14.0 billion in April 2020. On a year-to-date basis, Ontario’s manufacturing sales declined 16.7% over the first four months of 2020.

Return to graphic

Housing: Home Resales

The line chart shows Ontario’s home resales in units from January 2016 to May 2020. Ontario’s home resales grew from about 18,900 units in January 2016 to nearly 22,000 in March 2017. Home resales declined to about 15,300 in July 2017, and recovered to about 19,500 in December 2017, before declining again to about 15,000 in February 2019. Since then, home resales have increased to about 20,000 in February 2020, before declining sharply in March and April. Home resales rebounded to about 9,800 units in May 2020.

Return to graphic

Housing: Home Resale Prices

The line chart shows Ontario’s average home resale prices in dollars from January 2016 to May 2020. Ontario’s home resale price increased from $485,000 in January 2016 to a peak of $650,000 in March 2017. Average resales prices declined to $530,000 in July 2017. Subsequently, prices have trended upwards and averaged at $683,000 in February 2020. The average home resale price declined in March and April, before rebounding to an average price of $605,000 in May 2020.

Return to graphic

Housing: Housing Starts

The line chart shows Ontario’s housing starts in units (seasonally adjusted at annual rates) from January 2016 to June 2020. Ontario’s housing starts were volatile over the period, with highs of 104,000 units in February 2018 and June 2018 and a trough of 49,000 units in May 2019. Since then, housing starts increased to 94,000 units in April 2020, before declining to about 78,000 in June 2020.

Return to graphic

In Focus: Percentage of workforce teleworking or working remotely, Ontario

The two pie charts show the percent share of Ontario’s employers by percentage of workforce teleworking or working remotely prior to February 1, 2020 and on March 31, 2020. Prior to February 1, 2020, 62.9% of Ontario’s employers had less than 1% of the workforce teleworking, while 18.3% of employers had 1% to less than 20% of their workforce teleworking, 7.8% of employers had 20% to less than 60% of their workforce teleworking, 1.7% of employers had 60% to less than 80% of their workforce teleworking and 8.2% of employers had 80% or more of their workforce teleworking. On March 31, 2020, 38.4% of Ontario’s employers had less than 1% of the workforce teleworking, while 14.5% of employers had 1% to less than 20% of their workforce teleworking, 10.7% of employers had 20% to less than 60% of their workforce teleworking, 3.4% of employers had 60% to less than 80% of their workforce teleworking and 31.7% of employers had 80% or more of their workforce teleworking.

Return to graphic

In Focus: Teleworking by province

The bar chart illustrates the share of employers with 50% or more of their workforce teleworking or working remotely by province prior to February 1, 2020 and on March 31, 2020. This share has risen over the period for every province. Prior to February 1, 2020, British Columbia (14.3%) had the highest share followed by Ontario (12.1%), Prince Edward Island (12.0%), Nova Scotia (11.8%), Canada (10.9%), Alberta (10.0%), Manitoba (9.2%), Quebec (8.5%), Saskatchewan (8.2%), New Brunswick (7.9%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (7.5%). On March 31, 2020, Ontario (38.3%) had the highest share followed by British Columbia (35.8%), Prince Edward Island (34.9%), Canada (34.3%), Alberta (33.6%), Manitoba (31.4%), Quebec (31.0%), Nova Scotia (30.9%), New Brunswick (30.3%), Newfoundland and Labrador (26.8%) and Saskatchewan (25.2%).

Return to graphic

In Focus: Teleworking by select industries, Canada

The horizontal bar chart depicts the share of employers with 50% or more of their workforce teleworking or working remotely on March 31, 2020, by select industries in Canada.  The industries with the five highest shares are as follows: information and cultural industries (84.6%); finance and insurance (69.8%); professional, scientific and technical services (67.3%); real estate and rental and leasing (59.7%); and educational services (54.7%). The industries with the five lowest shares are as follows: accommodation and food services (8.3%); agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (12.0%); retail trade (14.7%); manufacturing (15.1%); and construction (16.4%).

Return to graphic

Appendix: Per Cent Share of Nominal GDP, 2019

This pie chart shows the percent share of nominal GDP by industry for 2019. Goods-producing industries accounted for 22.5% of Ontario’s nominal GDP with industry shares as follows: manufacturing (12.0%), construction (6.8%), utilities (1.9%) and primary industries (1.8%). Services-producing industries accounted for 77.5% of Ontario’s nominal GDP with industry shares as follows: health and education (13.1%), real estate, rental and leasing (13.0%), wholesale and retail trade (11.0%), finance and insurance (9.2%), public administration (7.3%) transportation and warehousing (4.3%), information and culture (3.4%) and other services (16.3%).

Return to graphic

Appendix: GDP measurement methods

  • Expenditure Approach
    • Sum of expenditures of all sectors of the economy
    • Consumer Spending + Investment + Government Spending + Exports – Imports
  • Income Approach
    • Sum of all incomes
    • Wage and Salaries + Profits + Mixed Incomes + Indirect taxes – Subsidies
  • Production Approach (GDP by Industry)
    • Sum of value added in all industry sectors
    • Output of Goods Producing Industries + Output of Services Producing Industries – Intermediate Inputs

Return to graphic

Page: 285  |