Ottawa, December 12, 2013 — In its 2014-2015 Economic Outlook, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce observes that although Canada continues to recover from the recession better than other countries, the pace of growth has been slower than hoped. Consumer spending and housing activity are proving more resilient than expected, while the slow pace of global growth and ongoing competitiveness challenges have reduced demand for our exports and weighed on manufacturing production. Businesses also remain cautious when it comes to hiring and investing.
Against this backdrop, Canada’s economy is on track to expand by 1.7 per cent in 2013, matching the previous year’s sluggish pace. The economy is projected to grow by 2.3 per cent in 2014 and strengthen moderately to 2.5 per cent in 2015.
“A reinvigorated U.S. (and global) economy should translate into better prospects for Canada’s export sector in 2014,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He added: “To reap the full benefits of an improving global outlook, we need to strengthen our competitiveness, tap new markets and secure and grow our involvement in global supply chains.”
Canada’s share of the U.S. import market has declined steadily since 2000. Much of the loss in competitiveness reflects the strength of the Canadian dollar, but Canada’s weak productivity performance has also played a significant role.
Government can play an instrumental role in strengthening competitiveness by improving the policy setting—for example, reducing the regulatory burden, cutting high marginal personal income tax rates, shifting away from taxing income and profits to taxing consumption, investing in infrastructure and education, and championing unencumbered global trade and investment—however, the onus is on businesses to craft a sustainable competitive advantage to capitalize on these opportunities.
View the Canadian Chamber’s 2014-2015 Economic Outlook.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing some 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at Chamber.ca or follow us on Twitter @CdnChamberofCom.