TORONTO, June 11, 2014 /CNW/ - External demand for Canada's goods is central to the country's economic
growth story this year and next, according to the latest Economic and Financial Market Outlook issued today by RBC Economics. RBC is forecasting real GDP growth of
2.4 per cent in 2014 and 2.7 per cent in 2015.
"Our outlook for Canada is predicated on the fact that U.S. economic
growth will be broadly based and that slowing global import demand that
started in early 2012 will reverse course," said Craig Wright, senior
vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "With global demand improving,
the weakening Canadian dollar will provide that extra lift needed to
shift the export sector into more than a bit player in Canada's
economic growth story."
Demand for Canadian exports will strengthen the pace of hiring, RBC
says, and move the labour market closer to full employment. Against
this backdrop, an uptick in wages will result in incomes rising faster
than household mortgage and credit growth, according to Wright, which
should cap the upside in the debt-to-income ratio. The cost of
servicing debt remains historically low at this point, staving off
increases in delinquencies and bankruptcies by consumers.
A strengthening in demand from abroad will also underpin business
confidence in 2014 and 2015, says RBC. This was substantiated in the
latest Bank of Canada business outlook survey, which showed a growing
number of firms experienced faster sales growth over last year with the
majority expecting to see sales increase further in the year ahead.
The Outlook notes that the housing market is set to slow later this year
as sales and construction activity gear down. As the housing market
cools, RBC expects a transition from investment in residential real
estate to spending on non-residential projects. Furthermore, the
housing sector will provide limited support to the economy next year as
home resales ease, prices stabilize and building activity slows.
RBC's forecast anticipates that the economy will quickly bounce back
from the weather-related slowing in the first quarter of 2014 and grow
at an accelerated pace for the remainder of the year. Wright says this
will limit the downside risks to core inflation, and should be
sufficient enough to convince the Bank of Canada that conditions
warrant the re-insertion of a tightening policy bias before year-end.
Still, the Bank is likely to maintain a policy rate of 1.0 per cent for
the remainder of this year.
"As the economy approaches its full potential, the labour market will
tighten and wages will increase more rapidly, all of which will support
the move to higher inflation," said Wright. "We expect that both the
headline and core inflation rates will approach the 2.0 per cent target
in the second half of 2015."
On the provincial front, most economies felt the winter blues, but
appeared to maintain a forward momentum. This year, RBC expects Alberta
will far outpace all other provinces in terms of growth.
"The contrast between booming conditions in Alberta and a more moderate
pace of growth elsewhere across Canada has rarely been as stark: we
expect Alberta to be the only economy to grow faster than the national
average in 2014," added Wright.
A complete copy of the RBC Economic and Financial Market Outlook is available as of 8 a.m. ET. A separate publication, RBC Economics Provincial Outlook, assesses the provinces according to economic growth, employment
growth, unemployment rates, retail sales, housing starts and consumer
For further information:
Craig Wright, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7457
Paul Ferley, RBC Economics Research, 416-974-7231
Elyse Lalonde, Communications, RBC Capital Markets, 416-842-5635