The Main Street Quarterly, 2024 Q2

Stronger than expected growth in the first half of the year points to decent growth in Q3 

Economic forecasts based on the most recent (June 2024) Business Barometer® data indicate that GDP growth surpassed expectations in the first half of the year, owing to the end of strikes in the public sector and a recent uptick in long-term business sentiment. The third quarter should see decent growth, so long as inflation remains under control and the central bank continues cutting rates. 

Retail sales rebounded by 4.1% in 2024 Q2 after contracting by 1.3% in Q1, on a quarterly basis. Sales growth is nonetheless expected to be moderate in Q3, as many businesses report weak demand.

CPI inflation continued to decrease in Q2, albeit at a slower pace compared to the previous two quarters. A more significant decline in inflation is expected in Q3, which is likely to prompt the Bank of Canada to continue easing credit conditions. However, core inflation (excluding food and energy) is anticipated to remain steady at 2.8% in the short term, as certain expenditure categories, such as housing, continue to exert upward pressure on prices. Private investment exceeded expectations in Q1, driven primarily by spending on machinery, equipment, and intellectual property products. However, it completely reversed in Q2. Investment is expected to remain flat throughout the first half of the year. 

Payroll employment grew by 1.6% in 2024 Q1, as anticipated, and increased by an additional 0.9% in the second quarter. Employment growth is projected to remain strong in the third quarter.

Those are the recent results from The Main Street Quarterly, CFIB’s economic publication. CFIB and consulting firm AppEco have partnered to develop early short-term economic forecasts of some key macroeconomic indicators, leveraging the timeliness of CFIB’s Your Business Outlook survey, the same survey used to create CFIB’s Monthly Business Barometer®.

The Main Street Quarterly also contains CFIB’s latest estimates of private sector job vacancies and a NEW interactive page. The ‘In Focus’ section, which covers a specific topic each quarter, focuses currently on the soaring costs of doing business. 

This edition shows a deeper look at the personal and miscellaneous services sector - its footprint on the economy, and its fitness.

Next release will be mid October 2024.  


Related Documents

Full Report


Job Vacancies 

In Focus

Sectoral Profile



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