Saturday, December 4

Canada’s Recovery, Already Slowing, Faces Second-Wave Roadblock

Article content continued

“If cases continue to pick up and hospitalizations follow suit, governments could impose even tighter restrictions, resulting in weaker spending activity in the coming weeks and months,” Sri Thanabalasingam, an economist at TD, said in a report. “This next phase of the recovery will be the hardest yet.”

Canada has recovered almost two thirds of the 3 million jobs lost at the height of the pandemic. Recouping the rest won’t be easy, given the capacity restrictions and weak demand currently facing many businesses.

The restaurant sector is also stalling, according to data from OpenTable. The number of seated diners at Canadian restaurants was about 33% lower on average in September compared with a year earlier. That’s only a slight improvement from August.

The industry faces further risks this month, after restaurants and bars in Montreal and Quebec City were ordered to close for a month to help curb the spread of the virus. In Ontario, food and drink establishments have been ordered to shut by midnight. Additionally , as the weather gets colder and patios close, some diners may be reluctant to visit restaurants, given the risk of catching the virus is known to be higher indoors.

©2020 Bloomberg LP