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article imageCanadian Prime Minister to skip World Economic Forum

By Larry Clifton     Jan 21, 2013 in Politics
Ottawa - Last year Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper criticized U.S. and European economies from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. At that time, Harper utilized the event to boast of Canada’s speedy recovery and fiscal prowess.
This year, Canada’s economic growth has all but stalled and Harper isn’t attending the annual meeting in Davos at all.
The world economic event runs from January 23 to 27.
Saddled by another round of weak economic reports, Harper will not be touting Canada's economic growth on the global stage. The Canadian economy, beset by its own set of economic woes that point to a bumpy recovery, seems to be quickly running out of steam.
“All the big economic engines that helped pull Canada quickly out of the recession—consumer spending, housing, and government spending—are either tapped out, or in flat-out retrenchment,” said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
Outgoing Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney is the only Canadian policy maker scheduled to speak at Davos; he is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion on global economic outlook where he will focus on reduced growth projections.
Canadian economic development has faltered over the past year. The country's gross domestic product grew at a tepid 0.6% annualized rate in the third quarter, compared with the 1% predicted by the Bank of Canada in October, and isn’t expected to have expanded more than 1.5% in the fourth quarter, according to most private-sector economists – which is well below the 2.5% projected by the central bank.
Harper had envisioned a balanced budget by the tentative 2015 elections, but some say that won’t happen, even though government maintains that it’s do-able.
While government spending remains relatively high, Alberta and Quebec provinces are experiencing budget pressures as growth in tax revenue slows. This is especially true in oil-producing Alberta, where Canadian crude is trading at steep discounts to global benchmarks, partly due to a lack of pipeline capacity.
More about Stephen Harper, Canadian economy, canadian economic growth, Quebec, Alberta
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