Canada’s deficit is growing at the fastest rate among developed nations as it seeks to prop up its economy during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Canadian officials are betting the aggressive approach will pay off, pointing to the number of jobs already recovered, and argue that the country can afford to pour money into the economy while borrowing costs are historically low. But some economists warn the heavy spending could lead to a fiscal crisis, and one major ratings firm has already stripped the country of its triple-A rating…
Canada’s virus-related spending, the bulk of which originates with the federal government, has totaled about 382 billion Canadian dollars, the equivalent of $294 billion, and accounts for roughly 19% of Canada’s total economic output.
Yet data from the IMF indicate Canada’s fiscal position during the pandemic—incorporating all levels of government—has deteriorated at the fastest pace among the major economies in the Group of 20 industrialized countries as it seeks to keep the economy pumping.
…So far, Canada has recovered about 80% of the jobs lost in March and April because of the virus, whereas the U.S. has regained just over half of employees shed. Canada’s economy grew by a record 40.5% annual rate in the third quarter, Statistics Canada said Tuesday. However, growth is expected to grind to a halt in the final three months of 2020 as restrictions re-emerged to deal with a rise in Covid-19 infections.
The federal government’s debt is also set to surpass C$1 trillion for the first time this year, or 50% of GDP, and debt from all levels of Canadian government will surge to roughly 115% of GDP this year from 89% in 2019, the IMF said.
Here is the WSJ article, do stay tuned…