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CPA Ontario President and CEO Carol Wilding, Economic Outlook 2017

January 4, 2017
Economic Outlook 2017
Carol Wilding, FCPA, FCA
President and CEO, CPA Ontario

 Good morning!

Thank you for joining us and I hope you enjoyed the holiday season.

The beginning of the New Year is always a good opportunity to recalibrate — to take a fresh look at where we’ve been and, crucially, where we are headed.

At this time last year — at Economic Outlook 2016 — our panelists predicted China’s slowing growth would have a negative impact on the global economy.

That prediction was bang-on.

China’s economy did, in fact, slow significantly which put downward pressure on commodity pricing and Canadian exports.

Among the other forecasts?

The Canadian dollar would fall below 70 cents by the spring.

Bang-on again!

The loonie hit a low of 68 cents in January before rebounding for the rest of the year.

Of course, there are many factors to consider when making economic forecasts and, there is as much (if not more) uncertainty as we begin 2017.

Luckily, this morning we are joined by some of Canada’s leading economists to share their perspectives on what we may expect for 2017.

We’ll be posting their thoughts in an executive summary; you’ll find the web address on the cards at your tables.

I’m sure our panelists will agree that 2017 will be influenced by the turbulent events of the past year, beginning with the backlash against globalism and free trade that resulted in Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as the new president of the United States.

One of the big questions as we head into 2017 is what a divergence in interest rate policy between the U.S. and Canada could mean for the loonie.

And with the Trudeau government approving two pipeline expansions in late 2016 — the controversial Kinder Morgan pipeline in BC and Enbridge’s Line 3 between Alberta and the US — one of the major questions heading into 2017 is whether Canada will finally move forward with critical pipeline infrastructure.

Similarly, will billions in promised infrastructure spending by the Liberal government boost the economy?

This morning our panel of leading economists will answer these questions and more.

But first, it is my pleasure to introduce our moderator.

Frances Horodelski is a veteran of the Canadian capital markets, with over 25 years of experience at two of Canada’s major investment dealers – RBC Dominion Securities and ScotiaMcLeod. 

She is perhaps better known however as one of the most widely recognized anchors on BNN, where she hosted the top-rated morning show “Business Day AM” from 2008 until her retirement last spring.

Please give a warm welcome to Francis.