/Posthaste: Enough with the gloomy talk — these five big positives can propel the Canadian economy forward in 2020

Posthaste: Enough with the gloomy talk — these five big positives can propel the Canadian economy forward in 2020

Good Morning!

The holiday season is upon us so it’s time for some cheer. There’s a lot of concern about the dreadful prospects for the Canadian economy going forward owing to our rising deficits, lack of competitiveness and poor productivity. All those are valid concerns, but we tried to flip our Grinch-like mindset to look for some joyous news.

It was not hard to find.

While it’s true that the economy faces considerable headwinds, the Conference Board of Canada has highlighted many positive things in the Canadian economy, in its new report published Monday.

1. Tight labour markets lifting incomes: If you are fixating on the 71,000 lost jobs last month, also acknowledge that the country created 400,000 jobs this year, which the Board calls “extraordinary”. And that’s set it up for wage increases next year — for some at least.

“Labour market conditions remain tight, and that is pushing up wages. Better income growth is leading to a more upbeat outlook for consumer spending,” the Board said.

2. Housing market recovery: The aggregate Canadian market for both new and existing homes is heating up, thanks to brisk employment and population growth and low mortgage interest rates, the Board noted. Royal LePage agrees. Fitch thinks otherwise.

3. Energy outlook turns around: New pipeline capacity could help improve rock-bottom sentiment in the oilpatch.

“The outlook for production out of Alberta has brightened significantly, even as we head into the new year with curtailments still in place,” according to the Board.

4. Business spending to rise: In addition to ongoing consumer spending growth, several large construction projects in the resource sector will lift business spending over the next few years.

5. Federal stimulus: The Board expects Canada’s real GDP to expand by 1.8 per cent in 2020 and 1.9 per cent in 2021, up slightly from 2019’s 1.7 per cent gain, on the back of increased spending and lower taxes by the federal government.

“Overall, the end of 2019 should prove to be the low point for growth and the coming years will see slightly stronger growth for the Canadian economy.”

Not so bad, is it?

Here’s what you need to know this morning:


  • SNC-Lavalin returns to court as the engineering giant prepares to defend itself at trial following the conviction of a former top executive in Montreal
  • Metro Inc. conference call on impact of new accounting standard known as IFRS 16 in Montreal
  • Statistics Canada releases its consumer price index for November
  • Manitoba Economic Development Minister Ralph Eichler and The Forks CEO Paul Jordan announced support for Railside development project in Winnipeg
  • Last day of hearing regarding Alberta government’s challenge of the constitutionality of federal carbon tax
  • First Nations return to the Federal Court of Appeal regarding the most recent round of consultation on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

The printing industry is not dead yet, and will probably go through a few more evolutions and revolutions and continue to rage against the dying light.

Joëlle Noreau, senior economist at Desjardins, seems to think there is still plenty of life in the old industry: “Some claim that the paper era has come to an end therefore printing has no future. They just don’t really know the sector: the world of printing is much more than just paper. After struggling for years, it is surviving by adapting to new processes, adding several new strings to its bow by also becoming a service provider, and by going after new business niches.”

Even if the industry continues to consolidate, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s shrinking, Noreau argues. “Real GDP for Quebec’s printing industry stopped free falling in 2013. In fact, since 2013, the industry has stabilized somewhat despite the many head winds.”

The economist believes that, in fact, printers will remain in high demand if they can respond to the changing needs of consumers and businesses and embrace new technologies and innovations such as smart packaging. While the printing industry has also suffered due to the media industry’s struggles, traditional print media advertising will hover at an average of $7.5 billion annually — not an insignificant number — for at least the next few years.

“If the printing industry wants to keep up, it will have to invest, de-compartmentalize and remain receptive to change,” Noreau notes.


— Please send your news, comments and stories to [email protected], and follow me on Twitter: @YAD_Fpenergy

With files from The Canadian Press, Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg


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