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Economy Lab

Delving into the forces that shape our living standards
Best Business Blog, EPPY awards, 2011 and 2012

Entry archive:

Economy Lab has moved

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There’s little to celebrate in Canada’s economic performance


For all of the self-congratulatory rhetoric of the Harper government, the fact remains that Canada’s economic recovery has been built on a very fragile foundations. Growth has been fuelled by the growth of household and foreign debt rather than by business investment, and we have become dangerously reliant on the resource sector.

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Economy in a healthy transition to an investment-fuelled turnaround


Is the long-awaited rotation from debt-fuelled consumption to exports and investment starting to take shape in Canada? While we are not there yet in exports and investment, some interesting signs are percolating that, to quote the Bank of Canada, “constructive evolution” is under way regarding household balance sheets.

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Time is running out for a Canadian energy delivery strategy


It’s fair to say that many Canadian policy makers and business leaders are transfixed by the status of the Keystone XL pipeline. The U.S. government’s approval of the Keystone project would add 20 per cent more pipeline capacity and greatly improve Canada’s ability to supply the U.S. oil market in the near term. However, Keystone is only part of a bigger energy issue: rapidly rising U.S. oil and gas production and the threat it poses to exporters, Canada included.

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Business uncertainty a roadblock on the path to economic recovery


The Canadian economy is still mired in a tepid recovery, with real output growing at a rate well below what we saw before the recession. Canadian investment and exports are lagging far below normal levels, partly because the U.S. economy, although showing intermittent signs of life, continues to face its own recovery challenges. One crucial factor affecting both economies is widespread economic uncertainty.

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Canada needs an action plan to fight long-term youth unemployment


Young people lag behind in Canada’s economic recovery, with rates of unemployment and underemployment still significantly above pre-recession levels. The danger is that this will have a permanent scarring effect on many youth, with long-term negative implications for both our economy and our society.

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The Canadian model: How euro zone can find more economic stability


Europe has been going through a few rough years recently, with a double-dip recession and an unemployment rate that seems to be sticking at a record high of about 12 per cent. Of course, the recession lingering since 2008 has many causes and dimensions, but now that the dust has (mostly) settled, it is becoming evident that the European economic and monetary union has a fundamental design flaw that most likely made the pain much worse than anywhere else in the developed world: A monetary union should be accompanied by a fiscal union.

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