Tag Archives: economy

One-dimensional? Us?

Two University of Calgary researchers have crunched the numbers and found Canada’s economy to be a model of healthy diversification. But not everyone is convinced
By Ian McGugan
August 3rd, 2017

For years, politicians and policy wonks have urged Ottawa to take action to ensure that Canadians become more than hewers of wood and drawers of water. But maybe it’s time to think again. Trevor Tombe and Robert Mansell of the … Continue reading

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Half full? Dare we say three-quarters?

Sure, there are still reasons for pessimism, but what do we make of all the signs that the global economy is picking up strength? Go with it
By Ian McGugan
May 19th, 2017

Look! Over there—could that be sunrise on the horizon? It certainly seems so. After years of struggling through the long shadows cast by the financial crisis, the world economy is brightening. Maybe, just maybe, managers should stop worrying about the … Continue reading

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There’s value in them thar hills!

Mining used to be simple. Find a deposit, build a mine, get it out of the ground and sell it. Today the hardest thing to find is a low-risk growth strategy that delivers investors and results
By Ian McGugan
March 2nd, 2017

What a difference a year makes. At the start of 2016, the mining industry was reeling. Metals prices were in freefall and investors had long since fled from the sector. Then everything changed. As new signs of global growth emerged, … Continue reading

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How to talk to Wall Street about Canada

As the U.S. market’s view of Canada’s flagging economy becomes circumspect, here are some tips for communicating with the U.S. buy and sell sides as an interlisted Canadian company
By Chaya Cooperberg
October 11th, 2015

After posting two quarters of GDP contraction in the first half of this year, Canadians are still divided as to whether we’ve experienced a true recession or a statistical anomaly that belies the nuanced and complex components of the Canadian … Continue reading

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The rolling impact of low oil prices

Lately, it’s been one body blow after another for Canada’s entire energy sector. Here we take a closer look at how the impacts and repercussions will likely be felt for the rest of 2015
By Robert Olsen
With Andrew Luetchford and David Sparrow
May 16th, 2015

Alberta is getting quieter by the day. Compared to a year ago there are about 40% fewer heavy trucks on the province’s roads and six months from now, there will be even less. If this low oil-price environment continues, it … Continue reading

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Is your barrel half empty or half full?

Everybody’s talking about the impact of plunging oil prices on petro regions and energy producers—but what about the mining sector? Our correspondent sees a range of consequences, many of them good
By Ian McGugan
February 27th, 2015

The unexpected and still largely unexplained plunge in the price of oil is enough to throw a scare into any commodity producer. When the world’s most vital and heavily traded raw material can lose half its value in six months—for … Continue reading

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Divided we stand

Western Canada’s place as the country’s economic engine isn’t changing anytime soon. That puts the onus on policy makers to take a new look at their priorities—for all Canadians’ sake
By Ian McGugan
August 24th, 2014

Nearly 70 years ago, a novel by Hugh MacLennan captured the struggle that then weighed on many Canadian minds. Two Solitudes told the story of a young writer torn between French and English cultures. If that quintessentially Canadian novel were … Continue reading

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Trading one super-cycle for another

Good times follow bad, often sooner than people expect. So, unlikely as it might sound in mining, signs of a pending breakout are mostly there. Don’t expect China 2.0, but the deal making could get furious
By Ian McGugan
February 26th, 2014

Cheer up, folks. Sure, Canadians enjoyed the good times more than most nations and, as a result, felt the crash of the super-cycle with particular intensity. But the recovery has been far quicker than many people expected. I’m referring, of … Continue reading

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Wanted: new brooms with new ideas

The next generation of central bankers are arriving on the scene just as their predecessors’ policies seem to have run their course. How much will they have to change to reignite economic recovery?
By Ian McGugan
September 16th, 2013

Mark Carney is gone and Ben Bernanke is going, but the Great Recession is still an unwelcome guest in many living rooms. So long as it lingers, the next generation of North American central bankers will have to ask some … Continue reading

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Is this all there is?

Some economists are calling low GDP growth the “new normal.” Before dismissing them, optimists should look carefully at what the numbers say about where we’ve been and where we’re going
By Ian McGugan
June 19th, 2013

We used to know what an economic recovery looked like. First would come a recession—usually short and sharp. Then a vigorous rebound would inevitably follow. GDP growth could be counted on to rocket past 5% a year as businesses and … Continue reading

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Loonie’s letdown for real

Don’t let the last of the Canadian-dollar bulls dissuade you—the loonie’s value is falling and it’s not finished yet. But don’t worry. A lighter dollar doesn’t necessarily mean a lighter order book
By Ian McGugan
April 14th, 2013

The beaver is cute and the maple leaf packs a certain whole-earth appeal but, when it comes to national symbols, it’s the loonie that provides the highest-profile gauge of how our national economy is faring. Over the past decade the … Continue reading

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Going to extremes

With interest rates near zero, central banks are looking at new, more exotic ways to boost growth. Suggestions: a long-term rate freeze, setting targets for nominal GDP rather than inflation, or—yes—putting a tax on savings
By Ian McGugan
September 25th, 2012

Happy birthday, financial crisis. Five years ago, in August 2007, BNP Paribas announced that because of losses related to U.S. housing loans, it was freezing three investment funds that at their peak had been worth more than $2 billion. So, … Continue reading

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Two steps forward

From jobs to GDP growth, the long-awaited U.S. economic rebound is underway. But don’t mistake these nascent positive trends for anything close to full recovery. That will be years in the making
By Ian McGugan
March 16th, 2012

CANADIAN BUSINESSES have been disappointed for so long in the U.S. economy that it’s only natural to look with a splenetic eye at the most recent data streaming over the border. Jobs growth has jumped beyond modest expectations, the stock market … Continue reading

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We’ll always have China…right?

Despite the recent obsession with Europe’s financial crises and continued sluggishness in the U.S., there’s at least one more big worry out there—China. If its slowdown turns serious, the damage here will be extensive
By Ian McGugan
December 20th, 2011

China’s fastest growing exports are anxiety and skepticism. After years of seeing its collective wealth race ahead at a breakneck clip, the world’s most populous economy is hitting some speed bumps—and raising concerns about how severe its slowdown will be. … Continue reading

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Don’t look down

When is the economy like an airplane? When it’s flying at stall speed. That’s Canada and the U.S. now. When planes stall, they can crash. If our economies follow suit, how should companies react?
By Ian McGugan
October 7th, 2011

When it comes to economics, few things are more treacherous than a bad metaphor. Take, for instance, the notion that prevailed well into the summer— and prevails still in some quarters—that business these days is just in a bit of … Continue reading

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