Weekly Digest- 12 January 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Canadian Dollar’s Sizzling Year-End Surge, but Can it Sustain the Heat in 2024?

person holding two 20 Canadian dollar banknotes

Currency analysts have noted that the Canadian dollar performed remarkably well in 2023, enjoying a winning streak. However, maintaining this momentum in the upcoming year is anticipated to be challenging due to gathering headwinds and stronger fundamentals favoring the US dollar. These obstacles, influenced by economic and geopolitical factors, are expected to pose significant challenges for the Canadian dollar in the near future.

In light of these circumstances, currency experts express skepticism regarding the Canadian dollar’s ability to sustain its current success. They foresee the coming year presenting additional difficulties and uncertainties, potentially reversing its fortunes. With the growing strength of the US dollar and the various headwinds ahead, the Canadian dollar is poised to face a more challenging period.

Foreign Tourists Keep Canadian Economy Afloat, While Domestic Tourism Slows in Q3

Toronto building with lights

Recent data from Statistics Canada reveals that Canada’s tourism industry experienced significant growth in the third quarter, primarily driven by increased spending from foreign tourists. This growth played a crucial role in compensating for a decline in spending by Canadian travelers, highlighting the importance of international visitors in sustaining the sector’s revenue.

Despite challenges such as travel restrictions and economic uncertainties, foreign tourists displayed a strong interest in exploring Canada’s diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and vibrant cities. Their spending not only benefited the tourism sector but also had a positive ripple effect on various industries, including hospitality, transportation, retail, and entertainment. Conversely, a decline in domestic tourism expenditures by Canadian travelers during the same period can be attributed to factors like economic uncertainty and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the resilience and growth shown by international tourism helped mitigate the overall negative impact on the industry.

CIBC Warns: Bank of Canada’s 2024 Pitfall to Avoid

Central banks faced criticism for their slow response to rising inflationary pressures, but a prominent economist at CIBC now warns against rushing into action as they confront the opposite scenario. After the global financial crisis, central banks implemented accommodative monetary policies, lowering interest rates to historic lows and using unconventional measures to stimulate economic growth and combat deflationary risks. However, as economies recovered and overheating concerns emerged, critics argued that central banks were too cautious in tightening monetary policy, exacerbating inflation.

Amidst ongoing discussions about inflation, a CIBC economist emphasizes that central banks must shift their focus to potential challenges ahead. They must exercise caution to avoid making hasty decisions that could hinder economic progress and recovery. Striking a delicate balance, central banks should carefully assess economic indicators and adjust interest rates or other tools thoughtfully to manage inflation while fostering sustainable economic growth. Learning from past mistakes and considering various factors, including employment data, productivity, and fiscal policies, is essential in navigating the complex economic landscape ahead.

Canada’s Economy Faces Growth Struggles: Latest GDP Data

Canada’s economy is grappling with persistent challenges as it approaches the end of the year, marked by a third-quarter contraction in 2023. Data from Statistics Canada reveals that the real gross domestic product (GDP) remained stagnant for the third consecutive month in October, highlighting the nation’s struggle to regain economic momentum and signaling the need for more substantial measures to stimulate stability and growth.

This stagnant GDP aligns with the difficulties faced by crucial sectors like manufacturing, services, and trade, all grappling with global supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and fluctuating demand patterns. These ongoing economic challenges raise concerns about their potential impact on employment rates, consumer spending, and investor confidence. Policymakers and stakeholders must closely monitor the situation and consider targeted strategies, such as addressing supply chain vulnerabilities and supporting industries facing labor shortages, to encourage growth and investment in the coming year. Despite the hurdles, Canada’s past resilience and adaptability offer hope for a revival in economic growth and a more prosperous outlook.

Economic Distrust in Canada Alters Views on Inequality: Survey Reveals

A survey of 2,500 Canadian workers has revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the economic conditions in the nation. A striking 50 percent of respondents characterized Canada’s economic conditions as “poor,” reflecting a significant level of concern and apprehension among the workforce. Additionally, 38 percent of those surveyed believed that the economic conditions in Canada were merely “only fair,” indicating a substantial portion of the workforce remains reserved about the nation’s overall economic stability and prosperity. These findings highlight the prevalent unease and lack of optimism among Canadian workers regarding their country’s economy.

These sentiments align with the challenges faced by individuals across various sectors, encompassing issues such as employment opportunities, wage growth, and the cost of living. The survey results echo the concerns voiced by experts and policymakers, who have identified factors contributing to the perceived economic downturn, including sluggish GDP growth, a persistent income gap, rising household debt, and uncertainties related to global economic dynamics. In response, policymakers must urgently address these grievances, implementing effective measures to stimulate economic growth, foster job creation, and promote income equality, with the aim of improving the outlook for Canada’s economic future.

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