The Bank of Canada has taken many actions to support Canadians since the COVID-19 pandemic struck. These include large-scale asset purchases—buying a substantial amount of government bonds and other financial assets. Our purchases serve two purposes. They help key financial markets work properly, and they can help increase spending in the economy. This leads to more employment and stronger economic growth.
Results from the summer Business Outlook Survey suggest that business sentiment is strongly negative in all regions and sectors due to impacts from the COVID 19 pandemic and the drop in oil prices. Firms reported that weak demand is reducing both capacity pressures and expectations for price growth.
The Canadian Survey of Consumer Expectations (CSCE) focuses on respondents’ views on inflation, the labour market and household finances. The survey for the second quarter of 2020 was conducted from May 11 to June 1, 2020. Given the ongoing pandemic, in this survey, specific questions were added about the impact on Canadians of COVID‑19 and the measures to contain the spread of the virus.
The pandemic and related measures to control the spread of the virus have deeply affected Canadians and the Canadian economy. The impacts have been different across sectors and regions. The economic recovery will also vary across the country as local economies start to reopen.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Canada, the Bank of Canada acted quickly. We needed to make sure the financial system worked well enough that credit could continue to flow. That meant addressing shortages of liquidity in financial markets—the backbone for lending and borrowing in the economy.