Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24 weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Dozens line up to register for the The National Job Fair & Training Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 2012.

J.P. MOCZULSKI/The Globe and Mail

A new economic indicator suggests Canada will see very slow, steady growth this year – but no recession.

The Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute has started a monthly leading economic indicator, which aims to give insights on the future course of the Canadian economy.

Other countries, including the United States and Australia, have leading indicators, which incorporate several gauges of economic activity meant to give advance warning of recessions or upturns. Statistics Canada stopped producing its leading indicator in May amid budget cuts at the agency.

Story continues below advertisement

The new Canadian leading economic indicator rose 0.1 per cent in August, after four straight months of 0.2-per-cent gains.

"The slow, steady growth of this indicator suggests the Canadian economy will avert a downturn in 2012," the institute said in a press release Thursday.

The indicator will provide "as much as six months advance warning of significant changes in Canada's economic performance," said Philip Cross, the institute's research and editorial co-ordinator, and Statscan's former chief economic analyst.

The new index, revised from Statscan's measure, tracks nine components ranging from financial markets to housing, manufacturing. It removes some old indicators and adds new ones, including commodity prices and employment insurance claims.

It's too early to assess the accuracy of the new index, nor whether economists will put much stock in it. But it comes amid considerable uncertainty about the direction of the economy – which might well mean more appetite for any crystal balls about the future.

"Predicting the economy is a lot like predicting the weather to most people," Mr. Cross said. "If there is healthy growth, it is human nature to expect continued growth. But business cycles change just as the weather does."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies