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  • Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice September 19, 2018
    The CCPA is pleased to announce the creation of the Kate McInturff Fellowship in Gender Justice.This Fellowship is created to honour the legacy of senior researcher Kate McInturff who passed away in July 2018. Kate was a feminist trailblazer in public policy and gender-based research and achieved national acclaim for researching, writing, and producing CCPA’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The buck-a-beer challenge Ontario deserves September 6, 2018
    Ricardo Tranjan proposes an alternate plan to Doug Ford's buck-a-beer challenge in the Toronto Star.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Growing number of professionals face job insecurity, study finds September 6, 2018
    The Toronto Star's Sara Mojtehedzadeh discusses the findings of the CCPA Ontario's report, No Safe Harbour and gathers firsthand accounts from precariously employed professionals who live and work in Ontario.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Our Schools/Our Selves: The view from West Virginia September 4, 2018
    Our latests publication, Lesson Here, digs in to the West Viriginia teachers' strike.  Read the firsthand accounts of the work stoppage here.
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • What do the two largest mining disasters in Canada's and Brazil's history have in common? August 20, 2018
    Tailings dam spills at Mount Polley and Mariana: Chronicles of disasters foretold  explores the many parallels between the tailings dam spills at the Mount Polley mine in British Columbia, Canada, and the Samarco mine in Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The Mount Polley disaster took place in August 2014, when the dam holding toxic waste from […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

GDP: Consumers to the Rescue

Following positive GDP numbers in April and May, Statistics Canada reported today that a sharp drop in June dragged Canada’s economic growth to a mediocre pace of 0.4% for the second quarter.

June’s declines in manufacturing and resource extraction did further damage to industries that had declined in April and May. Construction also declined in June, pulling the whole goods-producing sector into negative territory for the quarter. Goods production was hobbled by a continuing trade deficit and a reduction in business investment.

The service sector also turned negative in June, but remained strongly positive for the quarter, more than offsetting the goods-producing sector’s decline. Service industries benefited from upticks in consumer and government spending. In particular, household final consumption expenditure surged by 0.9% in the second quarter, its largest quarterly jump since 2010.

However, it is not clear that such consumer spending can be sustained in subsequent quarters, given record household debt and rising mortgage rates. Similarly, existing austerity policies and the federal government’s commitment to eliminate its deficit by 2015 for electoral reasons cast doubt on whether public expenditure will continue to support economic growth.

In summary, Canada eked out mediocre economic growth in the second quarter mainly because of a surge in consumer spending that seems unlikely to continue.

UPDATE (August 31): Quoted in today’s National Post (FP2), Montreal Gazette (C2), Ottawa Citizen (F1), Windsor Star (A15), Saskatoon StarPhoenix (B1), Edmonton Journal (C3) and Vancouver Sun (C2).

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