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business briefing

Briefing highlights

  • Canada's economy on the ropes
  • Markets mixed
  • Video: Why rudeness at work is contagious

On the ropes

Canada’s economy is on the ropes again, believed to be contracting in this second quarter of the year, though observers predict a fast, sharp rebound.

The severity of the current slump ranges among observers - and some believe the economy is still growing a bit - and not just because of the wildfires that ravaged Fort McMurray and hampered the oil sands.

Toronto-Dominion Bank believes the economy will shrink by a mild 0.2 per cent, annualized, this quarter, while BMO Nesbitt Burns forecasts a deeper contraction of 1 per cent or more.

“The economic slump in Canada isn’t expected to last long, however,” said TD economist Dina Ignjatovic.

“While we caution that the stronger the housing market becomes, the higher the risk of a correction down the road, we still expect it to remain healthy this year, moderating gradually over the second half of the year, and continuing to support domestic growth,” she added in a recent report, also noting the recent drop in the Canadian dollar, which should buoy exports, along with a pickup in U.S. demand.

“This, combined with the resumption of oil production and the onset of reconstruction efforts in Alberta, should lead to a sizable rebound in economic activity in the second half of the year.”

BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said the economy may be contracting by 1 per cent in this month alone, given the hit to the oil sands.

Canada’s gross domestic product is likely to shrink at an annual pace of 1 per cent or more in the second quarter, even if the economy perks up in June, he said, as BMO cut its forecast from its previous projection of a flat reading.

“Assuming production can recover in June, and along with rebuilding efforts and some already-planned fiscal measures, this sets up a strong rebound in Q3 of around 4 per cent annualized,” said Mr. Porter, who expects annual economic growth of 1.6 per cent.

Emanuella Enenajor, the North America economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, expects Canada’s economy to expand in the second quarter, but at an annual pace of just 0.2 per cent.

For the year, she expects growth of 1.6 per cent.

Markets mixed

Global markets are mixed this morning, though certainly looking up in Europe and New York.

Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 0.9 per cent, and the Shanghai composite 0.8 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.1 per cent.

In Europe, London’s FTSE 100, Germany’s DAX and the Paris CAC 40 were up by between 0.9 and 1.5 per cent by about 7:45 a.m. ET.

New York futures were also up.

Bombardier sees business jet pickup

Bombardier Inc. sees a pickup in business-jet demand in its latest long-term forecast, thanks to a return to economic growth in emerging-market countries, The Globe and Mail’s Bertrand Marotte reports.

The Montreal-based plane and train maker’s private-jet division predicts up to 8,300 new business jet deliveries, representing a total value of about $250-billion (U.S.), between 2016 and 2025, in the segments in which it competes.

The company said in a statement today that “significant growth is expected in the long term, with larger aircraft continuing to dominate the market.”

Video: Why rudeness at work is contagious