Five Canadian business stories to watch this week

Grocery store
Stock image, for illustrative purposes only (Photo by gemma / Unsplash)

February GDP numbers

Statistics Canada is set to release gross domestic product by industry figures for February on Thursday. The February data will not capture the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the agency released a “flash estimate” for March in response to the pandemic, which said GDP declined nine per cent – the biggest monthly drop on record – as the outbreak forced companies to close and workers to stay at home.

Loblaw latest

Loblaw Companies Ltd. will hold a conference call Wednesday to discuss its first-quarter results. Grocers have seen demand spike since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, and Loblaw rival Metro Inc. reported last week that same-store food sales had jumped 9.7 per cent for the quarter.

CN update

Canadian National Railway Co. executives will discuss first-quarter earnings on Monday after markets close. Rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. reported on Apr. 21 a significantly lowered financial guidance due to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, saying a drop in crude oil and automotive shipments will outweigh gains in grain traffic.

Oilpatch earnings

Husky Energy and Cenovus Energy will kick off the Q1 oilpatch earnings season on Wednesday. Both companies have been hit hard by the COVID-19-linked slowdown, with Husky recently cutting 80,000 barrels per day from production, and Cenovus suspending its dividend early in April.

Maple Leaf earnings

Maple Leaf Foods discusses first-quarter results on Wednesday. The producer of food products under several brands including Maple Leaf and Schneider's suspended operations in its poultry plant in Brampton, Ont., on April 8 after three employees at the facility tested positive for COVID-19.