The economy grew 4.6 percent last year, according to Statistics Canada, compared to 5.2 percent in 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The fourth quarter’s growth rate was 6.7 percent on an annualized basis.
According to Statistics Canada, household expenditure and residential building were the major contributors to economic growth last year, with new home construction, resales, and renovations reaching near-record highs.
Statistics Canada reported that real gross domestic product was largely constant in December, indicating that output remained flat at the end of the year.
That left the Canadian economy 0.4 per cent above pre-pandemic levels recorded in February 2020.
The agency also said in an early estimate that the Canadian economy grew by 0.2 per cent in January.
The January figure came as a bit of surprise for economists who expected a pullback in the month amid the Omicron wave that led to a loss of 200,000 jobs in the month.
Royce Mendes, managing director and head of macro strategy at Desjardins, said the economy likely built on that momentum in February as the country turned a corner on the latest wave of the pandemic, which allowed for businesses to reopen across the country.
The figures came a day before the Bank of Canada’s next scheduled interest rate announcement. The central bank is widely expected to raise its key policy rate on Wednesday.