Economic Highlights

According to the Conference Board of Canada, the proportion of Quebecers who felt that the time was right to make a major purchase, such as a property, increased to 22.4 per cent in May. This represents an increase of 6.4 percentage points compared to the previous month. However, compared to May of last year, it represents a decrease of 22 percentage points. These declines are consistent with the evolution of the COVID-19 situation in Quebec. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), residential sales in Canada fell by 39.8 per cent in May 2020 as compared to May of last year. The Bank of Canada announced on June 3 that it was maintaining its key interest rate at 0.25 per cent. It should be noted that the key rate was lowered three times in March in response to COVID-19. According to preliminary data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there were 5,261 housing starts in Quebec centres with 10,000 or more inhabitants in May 2020. This represents a 27 per cent jump compared to May of last year. According to Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey, 3,794,900 jobs (seasonally adjusted) were held in Quebec in May 2020, which represents 230,900 more jobs than the previous month. Compared to May of last year, this number represents a decrease of 12,300 jobs. The unemployment rate in Quebec fell to 13.7 per cent, after climbing to 17 per cent in April.

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