News

Our spring Let’s Talk Exports roadshow wrapped up last week. Over the 15-city tour, one key concern was expressed without fail: the soaring Canadian dollar. Above par since January, the Northern buck has many believing it is stuck there. Has parity now become permanent, or is some relief on the way?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

If shocks are the bane of forecasts, this year we are doubly cursed. Thus far, the world has been wracked by multiple natural disasters. Equally unpredictable was the unrest that gripped the Middle East and North Afric (MENA), and it has likewise shaken confidence. If seemingly bullet-proof regimes fell so swiftly, can we predict with any confidence future fallout in the region – and the world?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Worried about the US economy? You’re not alone. US equity markets fell for six weeks in a row as nervous investors piled into US treasuries, driving the 10-year yield down to 2.8%, the lowest level since November. Key indicators from various sectors of the economy have swooned. Is this just more evidence of a capricious market, or is this chapter 1 of the US version of Japan’s ‘lost decade’?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

If market volatility gives economic models a headache, then they have a whopping migraine at the moment. Critically dependent on past trends, models are now having to absorb the mega-changes of the last growth cycle, and so far, their record is sketchy. What are these model-rocking changes?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Negative numbers in any country’s national accounts are generally bad news. They mostly show up as periodic declines in activity, and we have seen a lot of that lately. Imports always show up as a negative number, by definition, and consequently are often looked at as ‘bad’. But at the world level, one’s imports are another’s exports, and as such point to sources of demand and opportunity.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Our cross-Canada Let’s Talk Exports forecast presentations are usually followed by lively question-and-answer sessions. Without this interaction, we would not get a true sense of the concerns, the fears and the aspirations of Canada’s exporters. I’m happy to report that this year was no exception, and the following is a synopsis of the questions uppermost in the minds of our audiences this spring.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

When it comes to frequency of word usage in the media, 'slowdown' is way up in the rankings. For a world economy that has been in the yo-yo zone since early 2009, that might be a ho-hum insight. Yet the OECD sees a widespread, multi-country slowdown occurring in a context of elevated risk. Is this just more pre-recovery turbulence, or is there more to the current soft performance?

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

By now it is clear that the global recession is over. That means we are on our way back to normality, but there are many reasons to expect it to be a different sort of normality than many seem to expect.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Soaring over the giant city of Sao Paulo, one gets an instant impression that Brazil is on the move. Among the endless sea of buildings there are ample new construction projects. Roads are jammed full of commuters, and are being upgraded to accommodate even more. Industry continues adding to last year’s surge, leaving its telltale brown smudge on the sunlit skyline.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »

Weary of manifold dismal economic reports, solace-seekers have turned to the balm of Chinese data in the past 18 months. They haven’t been disappointed. But that may be changing. Recent stats are taking the shine off the impressive record, casting doubt on the fledgling global economic rebound.

Posted August 20, 2012 Read More »