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© Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press Canada’s economy expanded at a healthy pace in March, but new measures to counter the spread of COVID-19 look like they pushed the economy into contraction again in April.

Canada’s gross domestic product grew for the 11th month in a row in March as the total value of all goods and services produced by the country expanded by 1.1 per cent from February’s level.

Statistics Canada reported Tuesday that 18 of the 20 parts of the economy it tracks grew during the month, with the exception of management and the utilities sector, which both shrank slightly from February’s level.

For the first quarter as a whole, the economy grew at an annual pace of 5.6 per cent. That’s worse than the 6.8 per cent that economists were forecasting, and less than the 9.3 per cent pace of growth that GDP was expanding at to finish off 2020.

Despite the growth in March, Canada’s economic output is still about one per cent below what it was in February of 2020, before COVID-19.

And it looks like that gap got even wider in April, with the federal agency saying preliminary data for the month suggests the economy shrank by 0.8 per cent.

Retail trade, accommodation and food services look to have born the brunt of April’s decline, as new lockdowns to counter the third wave of COVID-19 hit those parts of the economy hard.

But even sectors like manufacturing and real estate seem to have contracted during the month.