“We cannot take for granted that the U.S. is our largest trade partner. Canada needs to be on the front foot advancing our own interests since few Americans wake up in the morning in Washington thinking about how to do Canadian businesses a favour. We look forward to working with our members, the Government of Canada, and our American business counterparts to ensure Canadian businesses are positioned to succeed in the new US political environment,” said Mark Agnew, Vice President Policy & International.
OTTAWA, ON – February 28, 2020 – The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Chief Economist and Vice President of Policy, Trevin Stratton, issued the following statement regarding today’s GDP numbers.
“Today’s GDP numbers confirm that the Canadian economy is in a slump. Canada ended 2019 with 0.1% Q4 growth, with export volumes falling 1.3%, business investment in machinery and equipment falling for the third consecutive quarter, and manufacturing sales declining for the final four months of the year.
Overall, 2019 was a disappointing year for the Canadian economy. Outside of a positive blip in Q2, Canada’s GDP growth ran between 0.1% and 0.3% for every other quarter, finishing out 2019 with 1.6% annual growth. Business investment for the year is particularly concerning, with investment in machinery and equipment declining 1.4% and investment in intellectual property falling 4.7%.
The downward trajectory aligns with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s repeated concerns over the many economic challenges that we face. The Canadian economy already entered 2020 in a soft spot before taking into account the significant impact of rail disruptions, Teck’s withdrawal from its Frontier Mine project, and the looming global economic impacts of coronavirus.
The Canadian Chamber has consistently pressed the government for a national strategy that can address our weakening economic fundamentals. As some key indicators begin flashing yellow, governments urgently need to work closely with the business community to improve our investment environment.
The Canadian Chamber is prepared to work with its network of over 200,000 businesses to address the unprecedented economic challenges Canadians are facing, and we invite governments at all levels to work with us as a partner in getting the economy back on track. Together, we can chart a serious, sustainable economic course for Canada.”
About the Canadian Chamber of Commerce – Because Business Matters
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce helps build the businesses that support our families, our communities and our country. We do this by influencing government policy, by providing essential business services and by connecting businesses to information they can use, to opportunities for growth and to a network of local chambers, businesses, decision-makers and peers from across the country, in every sector of the economy and at all levels of government, as well as internationally. We are unapologetic in our support for business and the vital role it plays in building and sustaining our great nation.
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