Last week, Matthieu Arseneau, an economist at National Bank Financial, recorded a rare sighting: animal spirits.
On June 29, Statistics Canada released quarterly estimates of business creation and destruction. The research is in the experimental phase, so StatsCan didn’t do much to promote the numbers. But it did say that if anyone was interested, he or she could request the spreadsheet. Arseneau did so and uncovered some good news. According to StatsCan, Canada’s business population grew 2% in the first quarter from a year earlier, the fastest pace since 2008. The number of companies in the oil-and-gas industry is shrinking rapidly, of course, but the decline is being outweighed by gains in most every other sector, especially agriculture and transportation. “This should dispel fears that the Canadian economy is a one-trick pony,” Arseneau wrote in a research note.
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