The Toronto Raptors didn’t just unite an entire city by winning their first NBA Finals — they lent a hand to the Canadian economy during their historic run.
And Canada’s housing market was on the same team.
Both were bright spots that contributed to stronger-than-anticipated economic expansion in May and a number of economists took note.
Housing Market News Alerts
Sign up now for news alerts on the Canadian housing market
Real gross domestic product increased 0.2 percent in May, according to Statistics Canada monthly data released today.
Industries producing goods grew by a combined 0.6 percent, while service industries expanded by 0.1 percent.
Of the nominal growth in the services sector, Derek Holt, vice president and head of capital markets economics for Scotiabank, underscores ways the NBA franchise and housing contributed to the economy.
“[T]he biggest unweighted increases were in arts and recreation (+0.5%, go Raptors!!), real estate/rental/leasing industries that were up 0.4% m/m, and 0.4% gains in accommodation and food services (partly Raptors again) and public administration,” he writes in a Global Economics Scotia Flash report.
In a separate report, Avery Shenfeld, managing director and chief economist for CIBC Capital Markets, focuses on the housing-related implications for GDP.
“A recovery from the earlier chill in resale housing when new mortgage rules kicked in led to another nice gain for the GDP contribution from real estate agents,” writes Shenfeld. Construction was also a net positive.
Shenfield may not be a sports fan — he made no reference to the Raps in his GDP assessment — but Scotiabank weren’t the only ones to cheer the Raptors effect.
National Bank Senior Economist Krishen Rangasamy acknowledges the assist Canada’s only NBA team provided.
“And with positive spillovers stemming from the Raptors’ exploits in the NBA, the expansion of the services sector (which includes accommodation and arts/recreation) may have extended into June as well,” he adds in an Economic News note.
It looks like star player Kawhi Leonard’s off-season departure to the Los Angeles Clippers — he inked a three-year, $103-million deal after a one-year stint in Toronto — leaves more than just a hole in the Raptors’ roster.
The economy may feel the impact next spring.