Ottawa, March 8, 2013
2013-032

Private Sector Economists Forecast Modest GDP Growth During Meeting With Minister of Finance

The Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, today met with Canada’s leading private sector forecasters to gather their views on economic prospects for the country.

The consensus coming out of the meeting is that Canada will continue to see modest gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2013. Yet, the private sector forecasts have been revised downward due to external pressures outside of the Government’s control. Canada is in the midst of a very volatile and risk-filled global environment due to unstable economic environments in Europe and the United States.

“As I mentioned last week, we were expecting slower growth projections and that has been confirmed here today, but our objective is to balance the budget by the end of this Parliament,” said Minister Flaherty. “In uncertain global economic times, the most important contribution a government can make to bolster confidence and growth in a country is to maintain a sound fiscal position, and that’s what our Government intends to do with Economic Action Plan 2013.”

The Department of Finance bases its economic forecast for budget-planning purposes on the average of private sector economic forecasts. This input ensures that the federal government’s economic and fiscal forecasts are based on the best, third-party, independent analysis in the country.

“Today’s discussion makes it clear that we must stay on course and continue to fully implement the Economic Action Plan, to ensure continued jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians,” added Minister Flaherty.

During the meeting today, the Minister and the economists also discussed labour shortages, skills training and the need to assist the mismatched unemployed.

“What we will do is focus on our top priority—jobs and economic growth by helping more Canadians find jobs and participate fully in the workforce,” said Minister Flaherty. 

“Several studies suggest that changing demographics and evolving economic conditions mean that we need to make sure that people have the right training and skills for jobs today,” Minister Flaherty added. “The comments that I heard from the economists today will factor into my thinking as we continue to develop the next phase of our Economic Action Plan.”

As outlined by the Prime Minister, the Harper Government remains focused on four priorities that Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

For further information, media may contact:

Kathleen Perchaluk
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance
613-996-7861

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance
613-996-8080

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