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Initiative

Recovery Tracker

In partnership with its data providers, the Board’s Economic Blueprint Institute (EBI) developed the Recovery Tracker as a tool for measuring and tracking the economic impact of the pandemic across the Innovation Corridor. Between October 2021 and May 2022, the Tracker featured monthly insights that provided businesses and decision-makers with timely information to advance a safe reopening and to support the recovery of our economy and business.
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What We’ve Learned

The Recovery Tracker used a suite of indicators across key economic themes (labour market, movement of people, consumer spending, and business financial health) to measure the progress of recovery across and within business districts in our region.

Explore the data

While the Innovation Corridor’s economy has seen remarkable recovery since the start of the pandemic, businesses across the region were impacted in different ways. Industries that were able to pivot their business activities and/or quickly transition their workforce to remote work thrived – these included professional and financial services businesses. Businesses that experienced more economic hardship to were those that relied heavily on worker and visitor foot traffic – both of which have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. The impacts on businesses reliant on foot traffic also varied based on where they were located. The downtown core and regional centres saw a greater decline in economic activity than other business districts.

The pandemic emphasized the need for higher-quality, more-timely, and geographically granular economic data. Better data allows businesses and policy makers to make informed decisions quicker and overcome challenges or leverage opportunities for growth. Our analysis of the latest data shows that the regional economy is at a turning point; the economy is well positioned to transition from recovery to getting back to growth. Still, stakeholders in the region must continue to assess and act on identified risks.

Recovery Tracker Partners

Consumer Spending Data Powered by Moneris Data Services

Measuring Recovery:

Compare and track the Innovation Corridor's recovery across different themes:

Smiling nurse with mother and child
Labour Market

Monthly estimates of key labour market metrics from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey

Business people riding publick transit
Movement of People

Insights from TELUS Geo-intelligence that examines movement patterns within Canada

Storekeeper handing shopping bag to customer
Consumer Spending

Spending data from Moneris based on credit and debit transaction volume processed by Moneris merchants

downtown Toronto buildings
Business Financial Health

Data on negative occurrences and private sector debt from Equifax’s commercial database.

Looking Ahead

While the Recovery Tracker’s collection of indicators demonstrates that regional economy is on track, regional stakeholders must continue to assess and add to these indicators so that decision-makers and businesses can anticipate and act on key trends that will ultimately impact the trajectory of growth in the region.

Below are four key areas to watch as focus shifts away from recovery to getting back to growth:

Work-from-home

A sustained shift to remote or hybrid work arrangements may be a legacy of the pandemic that shapes our new normal moving forward. While providing flexibility as well as time and cost savings for workers, this trend has substantial implications for transit and our employment areas – particularly the downtown core. Policymakers must consider this in their planning priorities, especially with an upcoming municipal election. This increasingly points to the need for place-based planning that the Board has been advocating for.

Debt overhang

Elevated business debt could act as a drag on economic growth due to underinvestment from businesses focused on staying afloat, the misallocation of resources as businesses that would not be competitive prior to the pandemic continue to be supported by broad-based government support programs, and the loss of entrepreneurial capacity and spirit.

Rising costs, supply chain challenges, and labour shortages

The rising cost of inputs has been identified as a critical impediment to growth by businesses in the region as well as costs related to insurance and transportation. Moreover, supply chain challenges are expected to remain a medium-to-long-term obstacle as businesses continue to struggle to source inputs, products, and supplies for their operations. Businesses also anticipate facing workforce challenges going forward with many indicating they have a plan in place to address recruitment, retention, and training needs.

Fostering a productive and growth-oriented economy

Even prior to the pandemic the region was facing declining income growth. Going forward, policymakers and businesses must shift their attention to enhancing the productive capacity of the regional economy to enable growth and shared prosperity.