Current trends - Economic indicators

The data in this publication has been made available on Open Data in Excel and CSV format. View this on Open Data.

Source: Statistics Canada tables 18-10-0004-13, 36-10-0434-01, 20-10-0072-01, 20-10-0008-01 and 14-10-0287-01

Mini-methodology & definitions

This data is from Statistics Canada and is collected on a monthly basis. All data points are seasonally adjusted except for the CPI.

  • The Consumer Price Index (CPI) represents changes in prices as experienced by Canadian consumers. It is obtained by comparing, over time, the cost of a fixed basket of goods and services purchased by consumers. The CPI is often used to measure inflation rates in Canada.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the total value of the goods and services produced in the economic territory of a country or region during a given period.
  • Retail e-commerce sales are e-sales from both store retailers and non-store retailers included in electronic shopping and mail order houses. Retail e-commerce sales only include online sales made by Canadian retailers. Purchases made by Canadian consumers from foreign-based retailers are excluded.
  • Retail sales are the sales from establishments that are primarily engaged in retailing merchandise and rendering services incidental to the sale of merchandise. E-commerce sales are not included.
  • The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force.

Key takeaways

  • Some sectors hit harder than others: The broadcasting sector GDP was hit harder than the telecom sector during the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retail sales faced challenges during the initial pandemic lockdown whereas retail e-commerce sales saw unusually high growth during the same period. Unemployment rates increased rapidly during the initial wave of COVID-19.
  • Recovery may be on the horizon: GDP has been improving for all industries since the economy started to reopen in 2021. The broadcasting sector has seen higher GDP growth than the telecom sector in recent months. Despite the significant decline for retail sales at the start of the pandemic, sales have recovered to pre-pandemic growth levels. Unemployment continues to remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, but is significantly lower than when the pandemic initially hit. As the economy adjusts to the new normal, Canada’s overall inflation rate has increased, including video and audio subscription which are increasing faster than inflation. On the other hand, some industries have seen stable inflation, such as Internet access, or decreased inflation, such telephone and cellular services.


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