When COVID-19 first struck the global economy last spring, the Bank of Canada joined central banks around the world in administering a massive dose of monetary support to aid businesses and households. And just as they did during prior crises in 2001, the Great Recession and the oil crash, Canadian consumers were spurred into action by this support (at least, as much as is possible in a once-a-century pandemic). Vehicle sales are above pre-pandemic levels. Retail sales have reached new heights, even if what we’re buying has changed. As for real estate, the boom seems to have barely paused.
It’s no surprise that, once again, consumers are carrying the weight of this recovery.