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IMF surprisingly far more upbeat than others on Canada's economy Add to ...

IMF on Canada

Compared to other economic forecasters, the International Monetary Fund is positively upbeat where Canada is concerned.

In its latest outlook, the IMF projects Canada’s economy will expand by 1.7 per cent this year, which would be far from buoyant but nonetheless a better showing than that expected by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Canadian government, whose forecasts are based on those of private-sector economists.

Both the OECD and the federal government project economic growth of just 1.4 per cent, which, in turn, is much better some other forecasts that indicate expansion of 1 per cent or less.

Based on the IMF’s report, Canada will perform better than some Group of Seven countries, notably France, Italy and Japan.

The group didn’t change its outlook for Canada this year, which is surprising given the economic hit from the oil rout and the fact that other forecasters have been slashing their projections.

For 2017, though, it trimmed its forecast to growth of 2.1 per cent, down from an earlier projection of 2.4 per cent.

The forecasts are part of a report to G20 finance ministers and central bankers who are heading to a two-day meeting in Shanghai.

The IMF report calls for “bold multilateral actions” to juice the global economy.

“To support global activity and contain risks, the G20 must act now to implement forcefully the existing G20 strategies and plan for co-ordinated demand support using available fiscal space to boost public investment and complement structural reforms,” it said.

CIBC, TD boost dividend

Two of Canada’s big banks raised their dividends today amid higher first-quarter profit.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce boosted its payout by 3 cents to $1.18, and Toronto-Dominion Bank by 4 pennies to 55 cents.

CIBC’s profit rose to $982-million, or $2.43 a share, compared with $923-million or $2.28 a year earlier.

TD ‘s profit climbed to $2.2-billion, or $1.17 a year, from $2.1-billion or $1.09.

Like other Canadian executives, TD chief executive officer Bharat Masrani cited the “challenging environment” of late.

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