Main menu:

History of RPE Thought

Posts by Tag

RSS New from the CCPA

  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
Progressive Bloggers

Meta

Recent Blog Posts

Posts by Author

Recent Blog Comments

The Progressive Economics Forum

GDP: Austerity Bites

Canada’s economy grew by half a percent in the first quarter of 2012, staying on pace for unimpressive annual growth of two percent.

The good news is that business investment was strong, at least on a seasonally-adjusted basis. (As usually happens in the first quarter, the actual dollar value of business investment decreased.)

Unfortunately, the other major components of GDP weakened. Government spending on goods and services fell by 0.4%, its largest quarterly decline since 1997. Fiscal austerity is starting to take a bite out of Canadian economic growth.

Consumer spending grew by an anaemic 0.2%, its slowest quarterly growth since 2009. Weak consumer spending reflects weak labour income, partly a consequence of austerity and other policies to suppress wages.

Exports grew by 0.6%, down from 1.7% in the preceding quarter and 3.7% in the quarter before that. In contrast to the 1990s, Canada cannot rely on external demand to offset domestic austerity.

Today’s GDP report should prompt governments to reevaluate the pace of budget cuts and the Bank of Canada to keep interest rates low.

This spreadsheet displays the above GDP components going back to 1997.

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from Anthony
Time: June 1, 2012, 11:04 am

Weak consumer spending is an entirely predictable result of austerity–even mild austerity. But now the government is in a bind: on one hand, it wants to bring down the budget deficit, which is a result of Canada’s large trade deficit; but on the other hand, it wants a shrinking private savings rate, which doesn’t usually happen in the presence of a budget deficit. The solution? Either an attack on the trade deficit, which means mitigating the effects of the oil boom, or the encouragement of an asset bubble that draws in consumer spending and private investment. Because the former seems highly unlikely in the current political environment, the latter is looking increasingly probable.

Comment from Judy Kennedy
Time: June 4, 2012, 7:39 am

Mine to Randy Hoback:

Mr. Hoback,

I saw the video, now making the rounds, of your performance interviewing Erin Weir.
Hilarious! You fit John Harris’ description of some of today’s politicians stunningly:

Yet this is where politics and power have ended up: in the hands of too many people – men, by and large – who style themselves as expert players of the game, but know far too little.
        The Guardian, June 4th

Judy Kennedy
Granville Ferry, NS

Copied to:
Rt. Hon. Stephen Harper
Peggy Nash
Erin Weir

Write a comment





Related articles