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Canada’s Most Important Future Global Markets

Canadian exporters are facing a rapidly changing tide. While the resources sector is facing less demand and lower prices, the services and manufacturing sectors are experiencing renewed global interest. The U.S. still reigns supreme as the most important foreign market for Canadian businesses. However, business and government strategy should not lose sight of other important global opportunities—such as Europe and fast-growth countries like Peru, India, China, Singapore, and Indonesia.


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Signs of Optimism for Canada’s Economy

Our relaunched Composite Leading Index (CLI), which sums up the performance of nine components that track the short-term course of the economy, increased by 0.9 points to 109.1 in June. This suggests a slight acceleration in economic growth six months from now. The pickup in industrial and commercial building permits bodes well for building construction in the closing months of the year, and could signal the long-awaited turnaround in business investment. However, this was partially offset by more apprehensive credit lenders and a modest decline in consumer confidence.

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Oil Prices’ Impact on the Canadian Economy

Oil prices impact Canada’s economy in different ways. Sectors like oil producers, oilfield services, construction, financial services, and engineering benefit in a high oil price environment. When oil prices are low, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and transportation sectors are all better off. However, overall higher oil prices are a net positive for Canada’s economy as the benefits from increased oil-related investment outweigh any negative impact on non-oil exports.

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Promising Outlook for Most Ontario Cities

As the weaker Canadian dollar and moderate demand from the U.S. continue to provide a lift to many Southwestern and Eastern Ontario metropolitan economies, Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo is expected to post the fastest growing economy this year among the 15 cities covered in the summer edition of the Conference Board’s Metropolitan Outlook. Alternatively, the outlook for the Atlantic cities covered in the report remains poor, as the economy of Saint John, New Brunswick, is forecast to remain flat, while it is projected to reach a meagre 0.6 per cent in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

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Canadian Textile and Apparel Industry’s Unravelling Continues

The ongoing contraction of Canada’s textile and apparel industry is expected to continue with production set to fall by 1.4 per cent in 2016. Furthermore, employment is forecast to diminish by an annual average of 4.6 per cent over the next four years. A decrease in demand, coupled with increasing wages in other manufacturing sectors drawing from the same potential workforce, will be the main factors behind this decline.  However, there is a silver lining for the industry as other costs, such as raw materials, are expected to remain low, thanks largely to the decline in oil prices. This should help the industry keep its profit margins high.

In This Issue

  • Canada’s Most Important Future Global Markets
  • Signs of Optimism for Canada’s Economy
  • Oil Prices’ Impact on the Canadian Economy
  • Promising Outlook for Most Ontario Cities
  • Canadian Textile and Apparel Industry’s Unravelling Continues

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