Canadian businesses cautiously optimistic

By Staff | May 8, 2013 | Last updated on May 8, 2013
2 min read

As the Canadian economy continues to grow at a modest pace, the success of companies that have invested in their operations should act as an example of what is possible, says the new edition of the BMO Blue Book.

Published by BMO Capital Markets Economics and BMO Commercial Banking, much like the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, it combines the expertise of economists with anecdotal information on current business conditions.

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“BMO’s commercial customers across Canada are maintaining their cautious approach to the economy, however; the high dollar and low interest rates are providing opportunities for businesses to make investments that can improve productivity and create impressive returns,” says Steve Murphy, senior vice president, commercial banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Doug Porter, chief economist, BMO Capital Markets, notes the Canadian economy is continuing to grow at a modest pace.

“A slowing housing market, sluggish consumer spending and a moderate dose of fiscal restraint are weighing on activity,” he says. “Economic performance continues to vary by region, with Western Canada still outperforming the rest of Canada, albeit by a narrower gap than seen in recent years.”

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Regionally, Alberta’s economy is expected to expand 2.5% this year, well above the 1.6%, followed by Saskatchewan (2.4%), Manitoba (2%) and British Columbia holding steady at 1.7%. Ontario at 1.5% and Quebec at 1.2% will remain below the national average.

In Atlantic Canada, Newfoundland & Labrador will likely see real GDP jump 5% as offshore oil production rebounds and project construction ramps up. New Brunswick’s economic growth will underperform the national average while the PEI economy will continue to grow at a moderate pace.

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The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.