The Canadian economy will grow by just 1.4 per cent in 2016 as the impact of the Fort McMurray wildfires combine with global weakness and subdued business investment and sentiment following Brexit.

The latest outlook from the Conference Board of Canada is a downgrade from the 1.6 per cent growth predicted in its previous forecast and is despite a strong start to the year.

“The economy got off to a good start at the beginning of the year but, unfortunately, that momentum has largely dissipated,” said Matthew Stewart, Associate Director, National Forecast, The Conference Board of Canada. “The economy will likely contract in the second quarter and then rebound towards the latter half of the year. However, this won’t be enough to offset the second quarter’s weakness.”

The report highlights that the non-energy sector has not filled the void in business investment created by the slowdown in oil and natural gas; and exports have not responded strongly enough to the weaker loonie.
 

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