The easing of travel restrictions is providing the region’s businesses with room for optimism. Pent-up demand has also helped boost Atlantic retail sales 13% above 2019 levels.
Employment is nearing pre-pandemic levels in the Maritimes; however, labour shortages are holding back the recovery.
Industries such as accommodations and restaurants, health care and construction report difficulties filling positions.
Business costs are rising, with a 32% increase in Canadian raw material prices so far this year. Almost 40% of Canadian companies expect rising input costs to be an obstacle over the next three months.
During the last year, the Atlantic housing market has been strong, but it is starting to show signs of easing.
International exports of goods from the region have rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with gains in energy, seafood, forestry and mineral exports.
Overall, the elimination of most COVID-19 restrictions, along with high vaccination rates, should support further recovery in the latter part of 2021.