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March 27, 2024 - Canada avoided a recession in the last two years but risks remain for 2024, according to the C.D. Howe Institute's Business Cycle Council (BCC). 

In "So Far, So Good: C.D. Howe Institute Business Cycle Council Declares Recession Avoided in 2022, 2023," members of the BCC examined if a recession had occurred in the past two years and found that the Canadian economy did not fulfill the conditions required to indicate a recession.

C.D. Howe Institute Business Cycle Council (BCC) is an authoritative arbiter of business cycle dates in Canada. The BCC meets when economic conditions indicate the possibility of entry to, or exit from, a recession and acts as a conduit for research aimed at developing a deeper understanding of how the economy evolves.

According to the latest available data, the Canadian economy did not fulfill the conditions required to indicate a recession. 

The BCC considers several variables in making recession determinations, including a decline in quarterly GDP, measured by total spending on goods and services, of at least one quarter, a net contraction over a two-quarter period, and a broad-based – by industry – drop in economic activity.

It found that monthly GDP by industry fell in January, April, October, and December 2022 and again in April, July, September, and December 2023. However, with the exception of January 2022 and July 2023, employment increased in each of those months. 

Quarterly GDP fell in the last quarter of 2022 and in the third quarter of 2023.  However, in each, the declines in economic activity were small, and were bracketed by positive growth quarters, which led to a growing economy over a two-quarter period.

The BCC closely monitors developments in economic data, which have been weak of late, and stands ready to meet to discuss a recession call if GDP shrinks more, or for longer, or more broadly in the months ahead.

Members of the BCC participate in their personal capacities, and the views collectively expressed do not represent those of any institution or client.

Read the Communique

For more information contact: Jeremy Kronick, Associate Vice President and Director of the Centre on Financial and Monetary Policy, C.D. Howe Institute; Steve Ambler, David Dodge Chair in Monetary Policy, C.D. Howe Institute; and Gillian Campbell, Communications Officer, C.D. Howe Institute, 416-220-8470, gcampbell@cdhowe.org.


The C.D. Howe Institute is an independent not-for-profit research institute whose mission is to raise living standards by fostering economically sound public policies. Widely considered to be Canada's most influential think tank, the Institute is a trusted source of essential policy intelligence, distinguished by research that is nonpartisan, evidence-based and subject to definitive expert review.