In the course of researching a forthcoming commentary on Canada’s trade policy for the good folks over at the IRPP, I stumbled upon a surprising and encouraging bit of data. I grouped Statistics Canada’s series on exports and imports by broad commodity grouping (CANSIM Table 228-8059) into three categories: 4 primary sectors (including agriculture, energy, […] . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Canada Once Again Adding Value to Its Exports
This is a guest blog post from Louis-Philippe Rochon.
Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon.
What a tumultuous few weeks we witnessed in Greece. Though the victory of Syriza was ill-received in particular in Germany and the European Central Bank, it was nonetheless a resounding victory for democracy. This victory may now spill into other . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON: Greece, Syriza and the Euro
This guest blog post has been written by Louis-Philippe Rochon.
You can follow him on Twitter @Lprochon
Harper’s recent incarnation as an anti-terrorist crusader has caught many Canadians by surprise. Harper is spending considerable political energy beating the drums of war against terrorists, and introducing a far-reaching, and much condemned, bill aimed at restricting . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: ROCHON: Harper in closet over the economy as Canada heads toward another recession
In a recent CBC blog post, Louis-Philippe Rochon assesses the current state of the Canadian economy.
The link to the blog post is here.
Follow him on Twitter @Lprochon.
Over at the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ottawa U professor Mario Seccareccia has given an interview titled “Greece Shows the Limits of Austerity in the Eurozone. What Now?”
The interview can be read here.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably well aware that the price of oil has fallen dramatically, to less than $50 / barrel. What this means for Canada’s economic output & labour markets is not yet clear. But Stephen Poloz at the Bank of Canada has said that he expects the effect . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Low Oil Prices, Good or Bad for Canada?
Every year has its ups and downs, of course. But there’s something about New Year’s that makes one naturally want to emphasize the positive. So here is my personal list of 5 positive economic developments from the year past — both globally and right here at home — that warmed this particular economist’s left-wing heart . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Five Good Economic Developments in 2014
Jim Stanford recently pointed out that many of the conservative economists who had defended the overvalued loonie have quickly shifted to applauding its depreciation.
The Government of Saskatchewan may be making a similar conversion on the road to Damascus. When federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair expressed concern about Dutch disease, premier Brad Wall denied that . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease, Prices and Wages in Saskatchewan
The long-overdue depreciation of Canada’s currency is gathering steam. The dollar lost 8 cents against its U.S. counterpart, in fits and starts, over 2013. It’s lost another 2 cents since the start of 2014, and negative sentiment about the currency is accumulating among financial analysts and traders.
Indeed, once the expectation that the loonie will . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Odd Conversion of Mainstream Economists to the Virtues of Depreciation
Following last week’s troubling news about potash, the Saskatchewan government released its first-quarter financial report today. The headline seems to be “Oil Keeps Budget in Black”, with a forecast increase in oil revenue more than offsetting a forecast decline in potash and other revenues.
But the forecast West Texas Intermediate price is only up by . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Saskatchewan Budget Saved by Falling Loonie
The Institute for Research on Public Policy has published a very interesting overview study on the resuscitation of “industrial policy” in economic policy circles. It points out that industrial policy levers are used widely by countries around the world–despite hypothetical efforts (through trade deals and other institutions) to limit their application. The traditional Walrasian critique . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Industrial Policy, Manufacturing Employment, and the Loonie
In the hyper-polarized context of Canadian energy policy debates, even suggesting that there might be a downside to the untrammeled energy boom centred in northern Alberta is enough to get you labelled a traitor or an economic illiterate — or both. Conservative political leaders in both Ottawa and Edmonton, backed by energy-friendly think-tanks and the . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease is Dead … Long Live Dutch Disease!!!
A background study for the latest IMF report on Canada (see pages 42 to 51) adds further weight to the argument that the rise in the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar, driven in large part by high commodity prices, has underpinned a sharp decline in the US market share of Canadian manufacturers since 2000 . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The IMF and the Canadian Manufacturing Crisis
This is a guest post by Paul Tulloch, of LivingWork.ca and frequent commentator on this blog, reporting on some significant and timely work he prepared for the northern gateway pipeline review panel, analyzing correlations betwen the price of oil and the Canadian dollar.
Exchange Rates, the Price of Oil and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Exchange Rates, the Price of Oil and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel
There’s a refreshingly pragmatic and detailed piece in today’s National Post by Peter Spiro questioning the assumed correlation between oil prices and the loonie. It builds nicely on previous discussion of the “oil price-loonie transmission mechanism” that has occurred here and here.
Among other salient points, Mr. Spiro points out that:
Canadian petroleum exports have . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Oil Prices and the Loonie Again
For novelty value if nothing else, Mark Carney’s appearance at the CAW convention last week was bound to spark lots of attention. After all, we could find no other historical example of a Bank of Canada Governor ever speaking to a union convention. That says something in and of itself, of course. Central bankers speak . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Spinning Mr. Carney
Yesterday, Mike Moffatt took to The Globe and Mail’s “Economy Lab” in response to my suggestion that the Bank of Canada should moderate the exchange rate. (Perhaps his motive for encouraging me to seek the Saskatchewan NDP leadership was to get me as far as possible from the levers of monetary policy.)
My rebuttal . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Broadening the Bank of Canada’s Mandate
Last week, Conservative MP Randy Hoback had another letter in The Prince Albert Daily Herald blaming the NDP for the pulp-mill closure in 2006. He still has not addressed my main point about resource royalties. I have the following response on page 4 of today’s Herald:
Pulp mill saga proves Mulcair’s point
Notwithstanding MP Randy . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Randy Hoback’s Pulp Fiction
Further to my earlier post on the OECD and “Dutch Disease”, I have received a heavily redacted response to an access to information request (A-2012-00073/CN.) submitted to the Department of Finance, seeking any comments on the draft assessment and recommendations of the OECD delegation to Canada in 2012.
This arrives just as Conservative ads attack . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: More on the OECD and Dutch Disease
The following is another guest post by Robyn Allan:
A report recently released by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute claims Canada does not suffer from the Dutch disease. Unfortunately, the studies the authors draw on for this conclusion are riddled by it.
The Dutch disease is a situation where rapid export of a nation’s raw resources along . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease on the Rideau
Prince Albert MP Randy Hoback began last week’s inquisition by objecting to my recent op-ed in The Saskatoon StarPheonix on the “Dutch disease” debate between Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair.
He then interrupted to question my NDP affiliation. As indicated in today’s Prince Albert Daily Herald (page A4), I would . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Debating Hoback on Resource Royalties
Today’s Globe editorial provides further evidence of distorted economic reasoning being rolled out to attack Thomas Mulcair.
“Mr. Mulcair seems to long for a golden age of manufacturing and a low dollar, but his longing won’t take Canada anywhere. Not only the dollar but Asian competition has inflicted damage on Canadian exporters.”
The implication seems . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Dutch Disease, the Canada – US Exchange Rate and Trade With Asia
Today, Statistics Canada reported an annual inflation rate of 2%, precisely in line with the Bank of Canada’s target. With inflation under control and renewed risks to the global economy, there is little rationale for the central bank to raise interest rates anytime soon.
In fact, the Bank of Canada should now be more concerned . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Inflation On Target; Exchange Rate Off Target
The high-and-mighty virtiol which greeted Tom Mulcair’s comments last week about the downside of oil-powered currency appreciation is lamentable (repeating the over-the-top reaction to Dalton McGuinty’s similar comments a few weeks ago). Mulcair made two modest and empirically substantiated statements: the loonie is sky-high as a result of the oil boom in Alberta’s bitumen sands . . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Energy McCarthyism