Canadian Outlook with the Chief Economist: Economic Growth Accelerates But Risks Abound

The Conference Board of Canada, June 26, 2017
Recorded Webinar by
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The Canadian economy had a surprise breakout performance in the first quarter of 2017, posting the fastest growing economy among the G7 thus far.

Although the economy has surprised in terms of output and employment growth, there are reasons for concern in the medium term. Household spending has been the backbone of Canadian economic growth in recent years, but the momentum is expected to slow. And the trade sector continues to underperform, even before we know the potential implications of a more protectionist Trump Administration.

International uncertainty will also put pressure on the Canadian economy. Elections in Europe, the rough beginning to the Brexit negotiations, the threat of rising protectionism, and geo-political tensions could all have an impact on Canada’s overall performance.

Get the most comprehensive assessment of the global, national and provincial economies available from Craig Alexander, Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. Craig will provide an insightful and engaging presentation that is a must-attend for both analysts and decision-makers.

Webinar Highlights

You don’t want to miss the details in this webinar, which will include many of the key factors affecting economic performance, including:

  • Commodity prices. Prices for oil and other commodities are increasing, but won’t get near the highs reached earlier this decade.
  • Household spending. After growth of 2 per cent in 2017, we expect consumer spending to advance by 1.8 per cent in 2018.
  • Labour Markets. The economy generated an impressive 274,000 jobs in the seven months between August 2016 and March 2017, most of which are full-time positions.
  • Investment. Public sector investment is set to post its largest gain this year since 2009-10, but business investment continues to be the largest weakness in the economy.
  • Trade. Despite the decline in the Canadian dollar over the past 2 years, the trade sector has also continued to underperform. Most of the gain is in energy exports, while non-energy export growth is weak.
  • U.S. protections is starting to bite. Countervailing duties have been applied on softwood lumber and Trump has taken aim at Canadian supply management in dairy. The webinar will discuss how the trade risks are evolving.

About Craig

Photo of Craig AlexanderCraig Alexander brings over 19 years of experience in the private sector as an economic and financial forecaster to the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist. Craig oversees the Board’s macroeconomic outlook products and its custom economic and tourism research. He joined The Conference Board of Canada in September 2016.

Most recently, Craig was the Vice-President of Economic Analysis at the CD Howe Institute. Previously, he was Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist for TD Bank Group—the second largest bank in Canada and the eighth largest in the United States. During his tenure, he led a large team of economists providing in-depth analysis to TD’s divisions and clients. Prior to joining the private sector, he spent four years as an economist at Statistics Canada.

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