Briefing

Bill Morneau sees Canadian expansion on track despite headwinds

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The finance minister said the economy will continue to grow in 2019 and “the forecastable future.” Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada cut its forecast for economic growth this year to 1.7 per cent, down from its prediction of 2.1 per cent in October 2018. Morneau cited trade troubles and the oil sector’s difficulties as reasons for a recent slowdown. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Those trade and oil troubles haven’t been resolved yet. While crude prices have increased, there’s still limited capacity to transport it out of Alberta to overseas markets, which is the reason the industry cites most often for the price difference between U.S. and Canadian oil. Meanwhile, the U.S.-China trade war has delayed negotiations to remove the Donald Trump administration’s tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminium, Morneau said last month. But Canada did get some new allies in that battle this week—more than 40 U.S. business groups issued an open letter saying the duties were eroding the benefits of the USMCA.