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Country Report Canada October 2017

Country Report Canada October 2017

  • October 2017
  • ID: 325806
  • Format: PDF
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

Summary

Table of Contents

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Outlook for 2018-22



  • The Liberal Party, led by Justin Trudeau, has shifted politics to the left since it won a majority at the election in October 2015. Passage of legislation will remain straightforward for the remainder of the parliamentary term.
  • Mr Trudeau's popularity has fallen since mid-2016. This, combined with leadership elections for the Conservatives and the New Democratic Party in 2017, will ensure a stronger challenge to the Liberals' dominance in 2018-19.
  • The Canadian government will attempt to circumvent a hostile White House by strengthening diplomatic ties to other levels of the US government. A renegotiation of NAFTA will see modest changes that mostly benefit the US.
  • The Bank of Canada (BoC, the central bank) lifted interest rates in July and September 2017. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects it to add another 100 basis points to the policy rate by end-2019.
  • We have revised our real GDP growth estimate for 2017 and now expects an expansion of 3%, from 2.8% previously, owing to stronger private consumption growth.
  • Rising interest rates and high debt levels in 2018-19 will pinch consumer spend-ing, causing growth to moderate to an average of 1.9%, and a recession in the US in 2020 will pull it down further, to 1.2%. The recovery in 2021-22 will be brisk.
  • We expect the Federal Reserve (the US central bank) to raise interest rates faster than markets anticipate, which will hold back appreciation of the Canadian dollar. Some strengthening will be possible from 2020.


Review



  • On September 18th Mr Trudeau and the British prime minister, Theresa May, pressed a US aircraft manufacturer, Boeing, to drop its request for countervailing duties on planes made by a Canadian rival, Bombardier.
  • The federal government recorded a deficit of C$17.8bn (US$13.5bn) for fiscal year 2016/17 (Apr-Mar). This compares with a deficit of C$1bn in 2015/16 and, more significantly, an estimate of a C$23bn deficit in the March 2017 budget.
  • The BoC raised its benchmark overnight rate to 1% from 0.75% on September 6th. We now expect the BoC to keep rates on hold until 2018, having removed the stimulus added in 2015-16.
  • The labour market barely moved in August, adding 22,000 jobs, while the unemployment rate fell by 0.1% to 6.2%. However, we still believe that there is some slack in left in the market, which will push the rate down further.
  • The economy grew by 1.1% quarter on quarter in the second quarter of 2017, building on the rapid growth of 0.9% in the first. The growth rate was the fastest since the third quarter of 2011.


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