chart upClick image to enlarge

2017 is looking good for Canada's economy, according to a new report from The Conference Board of Canada, "Canadian Outlook: Winter 2017" with growth expected to accelerate to 1.9 per cent this year.

"Last year, Canada's economic growth was held back by weak business investment and a disappointing export performance," says Matthew Stewart, associate director, national forecast. "Overall, we anticipate a better performance this year, as the energy sector puts less of a drag on the economy, exports manage a slightly better performance and government stimulus ramps up." 

Although Canada's trade sector will likely encounter numerous speed bumps over the next couple of years, exports are projected to increase by 1.8 per cent in 2017 and see even stronger growth 2018 thanks to strength in the US economy and a weak Canadian dollar. However, export growth will be held back somewhat by capacity issues over the near term. With most manufacturing sectors operating at capacity, the lack of investment spending to expand capacity will continue to limit the ability of firms to increase production, and hence, exports. While it is too soon to estimate the impact that the new U.S. government will have on Canada's trade sector, it is highly probable that Canadian exporters will face greater protectionist measures under the Trump administration.

Business spending outside of the oil and gas sector should finally see some growth this year. Non-residential construction is poised for a gentle recovery, while machinery and equipment (M&E) investment spending is also expected to turn a corner. However, this won't be enough to offset further declines in oil and gas investment, which is projected to drop by 4.9 this year. Overall, business investment is projected to decline by 0.3 per cent this year, before increasing in 2018.

While the household sector will remain a key driver of the economy in 2017, consumer spending growth is forecast to slow slightly amid mediocre employment gains and subdued wage growth. In addition, residential construction is poised to fall as recent changes to mortgage rules take some of the steam out of the housing market. Housing starts will see to drop by roughly 185,600 units this year and rise slightly in 2018.

One factor that is expected to give a boost to economic growth is the beginning of federal stimulus funds. The federal government is committed to increasing program spending and infrastructure funding levels, which will account for 0.3 percentage points of Canada's economic growth in 2017.

With economic growth remaining modest in Canada, the Bank of Canada is expected to hold off on any interest rate hikes until 2018, even then the rate of increase will be modest. As Canadian and U.S. interest rates widen, the loonie will lose ground against the U.S. dollar in the coming year, expected to average US$0.745.


Stellantis ups EV commitment, cautions against moving too quickly

Add Stellantis to the growing list of automakers upping their stake on a future where electric vehicles dominate. Shops serving the auto giant should take heed, however, about its approach.

Reshoring in U.S. manufacturing rises to record level in 2021

Reshoring is changing the manufacturing landscape in America, in particular by companies trying to fill supply chain gaps of essential products such as electric car batteries and semiconductors, according to data released by the Reshoring Initiative.

Auto makers and suppliers feeling pain of border blockades

For the just-in-time based auto manufacturing supply chains, the disruption caused by the growing number of border blockades by vaccine mandate protesters is causing severe scheduling issues.

Samuel acquires 100% of additive business Burloak Technologies

Samuel Son & Co., Ltd., a Burlington, Ont.-based metals distributor and industrial products manufacturer, has acquired all remaining shares of Burloak Technologies, an engineering and design contract manufacturer for additive manufacturing (AM), materials development, high precision CNC machining, post-processing and metrology.

BorgWarner acquires Delphi in US$3.3B automotive deal

Automotive supplier BorgWarner Inc. has acquired Delphi Technologies in an all-stock transaction that values U.K.-based Delphi at approximately US$3.3 billion.

Mazak to open tech centre in Edmonton

Mazak Corp. Canada will in September 2020 open a new technical centre in Edmonton, Alta. 

The Ontario College of Trades has been replaced

The Ontario government is replacing the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) with a new crown agency the provincial government hopes will make Ontario’s skilled trades and apprenticeship system more efficient, accessible and easier to navigate.

Ferro Technique, Windsor University collaborate

Machine tool distributor Ferro Technique and the University of Windsor's Engineering deparment are holding a "Research Showcase" on April 13 in Windsor that will highlight the collaborative efforts between the two groups.

Workplace safety milestone for Alberta fabricator

Waiward, an Edmonton, AB, steel fabricator and provider of construction services, has achieved a milestone in workplace safety: one million hours without a Lost Time Incident (LTI) at is Edmonton, AB, facility.

OSG Canada adds to tooling lineup

OSG Canada has added two new tooling lines to its product offering.

Biden looking to spur production of EV battery metals

U.S. President Joe Biden is looking to invoke his nation’s Cold War powers to encourage domestic production of critical minerals for electric-vehicle and other types of batteries, Bloomberg is reporting.

FABTECH Canada: Manufacturing glamour

Think manufacturing is only a get-down-and-dirty kind of business? Manufacturing has come a long way from past images, transforming into what is today a high-tech, leading-edge industry with plenty of job opportunities. That's the message of organizers of FABTECH Canada, the country's largest and only exclusive metal forming, fabricating, welding, stamping, coating and finishing event, which takes place March 18-20 at the Toronto Congress Centre.

Sandvik to acquire CGTech

Sandvik has agreed to acquire CGTech, a NC/CNC simulation, verification and optimization software developer.

Grinding in Switzerland

Smarter grinding and advanced manufacturing technologies are the only way to secure future growth. That's the message Fritz Studer's management delivered during its 2016 Motion Meeting in Thun, Switzerland.

Lion Electric and Transit Truck Bodies launch electric truck

Montreal-based Lion Electric Company, a manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty vehicles, and Transit Truck Bodies, are launching an electric heavy-duty truck for last-mile delivery.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn