“Quarterly numbers, generally, are more volatile than annual figures and can be subject to temporary changes in demand, energy prices, exchange rates or situations in other countries, among others, says Minjoon Lee, an assistant professor in Carleton University’s economics department.
“The third-quarter numbers Scheer used as the foundation for his comment do put Canada below three other nations in the G7. But one quarter earlier, Canada’s growth was tops in the G7.
“‘The measure is very volatile, as it only captures what happened in the last quarter. This can be very sensitive to any external (and temporary) shocks that happened to the Canadian economy,’ Lee says in an email.
“Comparing quarterly numbers among countries can introduce bias because key national industries can operate on different cycles, says Troy Joseph, an instructor in Carleton’s economics department. For instance, auto sales decline in the fall and winter in Canada.
“‘It isn’t uncommon to look at GDP quarterly measure, but to use that as an annual growth rate is a little misleading because we can see there is a big difference,’ Joseph says.”