The Financial Post reports in its Thursday edition that the hewers of wood and drawers of water who built Canada's economy are no longer big employers, but the COVID-19 recession would have been a lot worse without them. The Post's Kevin Carmichael writes that Canada exported goods worth about $50-billion in February, exceeding prepandemic levels for the second consecutive month, according to data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday. Non-energy commodities such as lumber and canola have been driving the trade recovery, picking up the slack left by bitumen miners and auto-parts makers, which have had a tough time during the crisis. Investors and policy-makers should make room in their imaginations for farmers, loggers and miners, not just the software engineers that receive most of their attention these days. The International Monetary Fund predicts the global economy will grow 6 per cent in 2021 and 4.4 per cent in 2022, after contracting about 3 per cent last year. Exports were worth more than imports for the second consecutive month in February, putting Canada on track for its first quarterly current-account surplus in more than a decade, according to Benjamin Reitzes, a Bank of Montreal economist.
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