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Economy grew 4.5 per cent in May, Statistics Canada says

Last Updated Jul 31, 2020 at 7:15 am MDT

Statistics Canada building and signs are pictured in Ottawa on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Statistics Canada will say this morning how the economy fared in May and provide its preliminary estimate for June to give a picture of the first half of a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – Statstics Canada says the economy grew by 4.5 per cent in May as businesses began to reopen after severe lockdowns of March and April.

In a flash estimate for June, the agency says the economy continued to grow at an annualized rate of five per cent.

The average economist estimate was for a 3.5 per cent increase in gross domestic product for May, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The national data agency says rebounds in May were seen across multiple industries with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, including retail trade that registered a 16.4 per cent bump to mark its largest monthly increase since comparable readings began in 1961.

Despite the two months of growth after two months of negative readings, economic output contracted by 12 per cent in the second quarter.

The June and second-quarter figures will be finalized late next month.