Canadian economy enters recession

Canadian oil sands site Image copyright Getty Images

The Canadian economy has entered recession, official figures have shown.

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by an annualised rate of 0.5% between April and June.

That follows a contraction of 0.8% in the first quarter, meaning the economy has seen two consecutive quarters of negative growth, the usual definition of recession.

The data will be a blow for prime minister Stephen Harper, who faces elections on 19 October.

The economy is expected to dominate the election debate.

The last time the country was in recession was during the financial crisis of 2008-09. As an oil exporting country, Canada has been hit by a fall in the price of the commodity.

US crude oil prices are currently trading at about $47 a barrel, less than half last year's level of $107 a barrel, pushed lower by a fall in global demand, particularly from China.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Canada hosted the Women's World Cup, which helped the arts and entertainment business

However, the Canadian figures also showed that trade in June was much brisker, leading analysts to suggest the worst may be over.

"Despite the technical recession materialising, it does look like the Canadian economy is jumping back. The June numbers are comforting in that regard," said Derek Burleton from Toronto-Dominion bank.

"We may very well be revising our third quarter up," he added.

Tuesday's data also showed business in the arts and entertainment sector increased by 6.4% in June, mainly as a result of Canada hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup.

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