PEF home page and weblog
(The following is slightly adapted from a short piece on page 3 in the new issue of Economy at Work, the quarterly publication I produce for CUPE, which also covers a lot of other relevant issues.) It’s been a little over four years since Canada’s economy bottomed out in mid 2009. While we didn’t suffer as deep [...]
The IMF’s latest delivery of the World Economic outlook contains an interesting analysis of the current “non” recovery in terms of a divergence between fiscal and monetary policy, the first between restrictive and procyclical in nature and the second being accommodating and reinforcing a financial expansion. As argued here by the IMF economists who worked [...]
As we close out 2012, BC finds itself in some precarious economic waters. To recap, a massive housing bubble that built up through the naughties (2000s) finally burst in 2008, feeding a financial crisis, as extremely loose (some would say fraudulent) lending practices pushed housing prices up to spectacular, never-seen-before levels, and created a plague [...]
Today’s Statscan release of income data for 2010 allow for a backward glance at the state of the recovery. What is most striking is that – following two years of flat income growth in 2008 and 2009 – there was no meaningful economic recovery for most Canadians in 2010. Median earnings (half earned more, half [...]
The CCPA today released my report: “The Big Banks Big Secret” which provides the first public estimates of the emergency funds taken by Canadian banks. The report bases its estimates on publicly available data from CMHC, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Canada, as well as quarterly [...]
Posted by David Macdonald under asset backed commercial paper, auto industry, Bank of Canada, banks, capitalism, corporate profits, economic crisis, economic risk, financial crisis, financial markets, financial regulation, free markets, global crisis, income distribution, inequality, recession, Role of government, Uncategorized.
April 30th, 2012
Last Monday, BC teachers held a Day of Action in communities across the province to protest the BC government’s decision to legislate a contract and put an end to their collective bargaining process. I was invited to speak to teachers at the Surrey rally, where I had the opportunity to share some of my analysis [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under BC, budgets, economic growth, education, employment, income distribution, inequality, poverty, public services, recession, social policy, taxation, unions, user fees, wages.
March 4th, 2012
December marked the three-year anniversary of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. While I believe there is much to celebrate, much remains to be done. The Strategy surprised a lot of observers, especially in light of the fact that it was announced in December 2008, just as Ontario was entering a recession. Its focus was almost exclusively [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under child benefits, Conservative government, corporate income tax, early learning, economic crisis, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, housing, income support, income tax, Indigenous people, inequality, minimum wage, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social indicators, social policy, taxation, unemployment.
January 8th, 2012
Today’s GDP numbers (a sprightly gain of 0.3% at basic prices in July) ensure that there will not be a so-called “technical recession” in Canada — at least, not yet. Economists have a perverted definition of “recession”, whereby it’s considered official only if real GDP declines 2 quarters in a row. That’s hilariously arbitrary. And [...]
Further to my earlier post on Recession Ahead?, the IMF have today sharply revised down their forecasts of Canadian growth – from 2.9% to 2.1% in 2001, and from 2.6% to 1.9% in 2o12. The downward revisions for Canada compared to June, 2011 are just about the largest for the advanced economies, second only to [...]
The Labour Force Survey for August showed that average hourly wages were up by just 1.4% from a year earlier, the same low level of increase as was registered in July. Consumer price inflation was 2.7% in July, a bit down from 3.1% in June and 3.7% in May, but it seems that we have [...]
An article in the current edition of NOW Magazine looks at social assistance in Ontario. The article is aptly entitled “Poverty Pariah,” in light of how apparently unpopular Ontario’s welfare system has become over the past 20 years. As can be seen at the National Council of Welfare’s Interactive Welfare Incomes Map, a single adult [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under food, guaranteed annual income, housing, human rights, income distribution, income support, inequality, minimum wage, NDP, Ontario, poverty, progressive economic strategies, recession, social policy.
July 24th, 2011
Today’s release of the annual Income in Canada report is Statistics Canada’s first word on the impact of the Great Recession on Canadians’ incomes. The report in The Daily was presented as a non-event, but the data reveal important stories about the winners and losers since the recession. What comes through loud and clear is [...]
Today’s Statscan release “Incomes of Canadians” provides data for 2009 and a partial reading on the impacts of the recession. (I say partial because the 2008 annual average data were impacted by the onset of the recession in the last quarter of the year, and since these impacts continued well into 2010.) The data give [...]
Jack Layton unveiled the NDP’s policy platform today. Among other things, it promises to eliminate the deficit (i.e. balance the federal budget) within four years. I’m not sure it should. Several years back, I had the opportunity to take a directed reading course from John Smithin. In addition to being a long-time member of the [...]
Posted by Nick Falvo under budgets, debt, deficits, economic growth, economic thought, election 08, election 2011, federal budget, GDP, interest rates, macroeconomics, monetary policy, NDP, party politics, PEF, progressive economic strategies, recession.
April 10th, 2011
The Conservatives are stressing their supposed credentials as “economic managers” in their strategy to win a majority — combined with fear-mongering about a future coalition (although that latter part of the strategy may be backfiring on them). I’ve argued before that claims about Canada’s superior performance are not factually correct, especially when we correct for [...]
Canada’s recovery from the 2008-09 recession ground to a painful halt during the second half of 2010. The economy created no net new jobs from the summer onward, economic growth slowed to a crawl, and the nation’s current account deficit reached a record size. And all of that was while federal-provincial stimulus efforts (said to [...]
Friday’s labour force survey numbers from Statistics Canada were another nail in the coffin of Canada’s fleeting, fragile economic “recovery.” On first glance, the data seemed to tell a good story: the official unemployment rate tumbled from 7.9% to 7.6% in November. Immediately, that seemed strange — given that 0nly 15,000 jobs were created for [...]
The cover of last week’s Economist magazine boasted the headline “Grow, dammit, grow!” above a picture of a bald man looking up at a tiny sprout of hair on his pate. As the Great Recession continues to grind on with no end in sight – with growth remaining anemic and unemployment stubbornly high in North [...]
Here’s my take on Canada’s jobs recovery, written for the Economy Lab. The Economy Lab is a new on-line feature of the on-line business section of the Globe and Mail, part the newspaper’s extensive print and electronic make-over launched on October 1. Editor Rob Gilroy has made it a lively spot. The Daily Mix is [...]
Here’s a new take on bringing economic theory to the masses — a rap battle between Keynes and Hayek. What’s amazing about it is the amount of solid (if not plain nerdy) content this video packs into such a short time. It’s fun to watch for sure (very high production values), but you get that [...]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under economic crisis, economic growth, economic literacy, economic thought, fiscal policy, free markets, history of economic thought, industrial policy, inflation, interest rates, investment, labour adjustment, labour market, macroeconomics, media, monetary policy, prices, progressive economic strategies, public sector procurement, recession, Role of government, stimulus, unemployment, wages.
October 12th, 2010
Among the concerns about the HST that we at the CCPA have raised was the poor timing of the tax change. From my pre-budget piece last September: If British Columbians respond to the HST by reducing their consumer spending, the timing of the HST introduction may actually slow down the economic recovery, which should be [...]
Here is a good piece by Tom Palley in the FT Economists Forum on where the Obama Administration should be moving in terms of economic (though I am not holding my breath until the economic team is dumped) http://blogs.ft.com/economistsforum/2010/09/plan-b-for-obama-on-the-economy/#more-11616
Yesterday’s GDP numbers were worse than they seemed. And they highlighted a curious feature of modern capitalism. Nowadays, non-financial businesses have become major net lenders to the rest of the economy. Instead of borrowing money (in various forms: debt, equity, etc.) from other sectors to finance real investment, non-financial businesses are not even reinvesting their [...]
Here’s a fascinating finding from an NBER study: “The Economic Crisis and Medical Care Usage,” by Annamaria Lusardi, Daniel Schneider, and Peter Tufano (NBER study #15843). They undertook a broad public survey across 5 countries (the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, and France) on the economic and social impacts of the recession. The survey covered over [...]
I have an op-ed in today’s Toronto Star. The piece stems largely from a policy paper I wrote on homelessness earlier this year, and that I blogged about here. In today’s op-ed, I argue that homelessness rises after a recession, but that there’s a lag effect. To be sure, after the recession of the early 1990s, [...]
The notion that tariffs caused the Great Depression has been repeatedly invoked in opposition to allegedly protectionist policies and to press ahead with deregulatory “free trade” deals. Also, the current collapse of international trade is sometimes cited to suggest a rising tide of protectionism today. Yesterday, Paul Krugman had an excellent post debunking the underlying [...]
I recently wrote a paper on the recession’s impact on homelessness, looking at Toronto as a case study. I presented it on Friday at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association (May 28-30, Quebec City). The paper’s title is “Calm Before the Storm,” as I believe that, based on the outcome of the last [...]
Last Friday I had the honour of sharing the podium (and a good supper afterward) with Steve Keen, the awesome Australian economist who was recently named the winner of the “Revere Award” for most accurately forewarning of the global financial crisis. In fact, that award was announced the same day we spoke together to the [...]
A recent article in The New York Times illustrates this point with the story of an unemployed administrative assistant in her 50s, who has not been able to find a job for over two years after being laid off. As the journalist explains, her difficulties are likely not the result of age discrimination, the weak [...]
In February, Canada experienced its slowest economic growth since October 2009. Of course, no one expected the initial rapid rebound out of recession to continue forever. Monthly growth of 0.3% corresponds to annual growth of 3.7%, which is quite strong by historical standards and stronger than the 3.2% US growth estimated this morning for the first [...]