It has been well documented that Saskatchewan has handled the economic impact of the COVID lockdown better than most parts of the country. We have consistently recorded the lowest unemployment rate, our debt-to-GDP ratio is moving from third best to top of the list. And we saw consumer spending hold up better than most parts of the country.
One reason for this performance is the make-up of our economy. We rely less on service industries or B2C – business to consumer. We are more of an export and commodity-based economy where our output is shipped to customers outside our border.
But another reason may be that we had less to lose when the COVID pandemic was declared.
A new report from StatsCan shows we were the only province in the country that saw its economy contract in 2019. Basically we went into the pandemic on a downward track so we didn’t as far to fall when the lockdown was introduced.
The weak points last year centred on investment – business investment in technology – and consumer investment in housing. The second one – housing – is a trend that has already been reversed.