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Bank economists cautiously optimistic about Canada’s outlook


September 27, 2013
By The Canadian Press

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Economists at Canada’s leading banks are presenting a cautiously optimistic outlook, suggesting that many of the headwinds that have battered the economy are starting to ease.

But they say uncertainty in the U.S., the conflict in Syria and slower than expected growth in China remain concerns.

Royal Bank economist Craig Wright says consumer spending is improving and the housing market looks set to cool, not collapse, as some feared. But he takes signs of an upswing with caution, noting the economic picture is improving, but it may also look better than it is because expectations were so low after the downturn.

National Bank’s Stefane Marion says that while the outlook for Ontario is brightening for next year, the performance of the country’s most populous province won’t be “stellar.” Marion says Ontario’s economy has a lot of work to do, especially when it comes to improving manufacturing cost structures to compete with Mexico, as well as creating policies to encourage investment.

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Economists from the six big banks spoke at an annual event at the Toronto Region Board of Trade.