The Main Street Quarterly

Above expectations growth at the beginning of Q1 encourages overall soft rebound

Economic forecasts based on the most recent (March 2024) Business Barometer® data indicate that GDP growth rebounded to 2.2% in the first quarter of the year, supported by above-expectations GDP growth in January reflecting largely the end of strikes in the public sector. The pace should come down to 1.1% in the second quarter.

Retail sales grew by 1.7% in 2024 Q1 and further strength in nominal terms is expected in Q2 as GDP, employment and prices continue to increase.

CPI inflation continued its downward trend in Q1, falling below the 3% mark at 2.8%. Excluding food and energy, inflation fell to 2.9%, and the decline is expected to persist in Q2. Evidently, more and more signals show that inflation is getting under control, which should motivate the Bank of Canada to lower rates in the near term.

Private investment contracted for the third consecutive quarter in Q1, and is expected to keep declining in Q2, albeit at a slower pace.

Total payroll employment increased 1.6% in 2024 Q1 following a slight contraction at the end of 2023. Year-over-year, employment is expected to remain 1.1% higher over the first half of 2024.

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 small businesses affected by insufficient demand.

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

Next release will be mid July 2024.  


Related Documents

Full Report


Job Vacancies 

In Focus

Sectoral Profile



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