Canadian optimism surges as expert asserts importance of expanding market investment
April 03, 2012
Mark Carney, governor of the Canadian Press Bank of Canada, derided the Canadian economy this week for focusing heavily on traditional markets in the post-recession economy, instead of investing in new opportunities in Asia, South America and elsewhere.
Carney cited Canada's export record since 2000 as a dismal failure, adding that it has assumed the worst post-recession record of any recovery since the Second World War. Aside from the United Kingdom, Carney noted, Canada is currently the worst in the G20 club of major economic nations, the Winnipeg Free Press reports.
It is true that Canada faired the global recession relatively well - at least in comparison to the U.S. and Europe - but its recovery has been weak and remains marred by high unemployment, weak consumer spending and poor international trade. Consumer debt is also high, and growth in construction for homes has largely dried up.
"Exports have not regained their pre-crisis peak, and in fact remain below their level of a decade ago," Carney added, according to the source. "The combination of over-exposure to the U.S. market and under-exposure to faster-growing emerging markets is almost entirely responsible."
However, in the speech to a Kitchener-Waterloo business audience on Monday, Carney was careful not to declare outright pessimism. He pointed to the ameliorating crisis in Europe as well as the quickening U.S. recovery as evidence of recovery and growth opportunities in Canada.
The analysis is a contrast to the latest CICA/RBC Business Monitor, however. The findings of that report conclude that the U.S. economy is unlikely to slip into recession, but is still a major economic challenge to Canada.
Optimism regarding the overall Canadian economy climbed to 32 percent in the first quarter, up from 20 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. However, most respondents - 58 percent - remain neutral about the country's economy.
"It is not surprising that we're seeing a rise in optimism about the Canadian economy and greater comfort with indicators stateside considering how closely our economies are linked," said Kevin Dancey, president and CEO of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. "These are positive signals, but not enough to suggest that we have achieved a sustainable recovery in Canada."