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Eastern truckers get economic overview

The talk wasn’t exclusively focused on trucking at this year’s Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association conference – Scotiabank’s senior vice president and chief economist took to the podium and presented an economic...

The talk wasn’t exclusively focused on trucking at this year’s Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association conference – Scotiabank’s senior vice president and chief economist took to the podium and presented an economic outlook that examines a number of areas.

Global Forecast

Warren Jestin, in an update on the global economy, stated economic growth is facing some difficulties.

“The U.S. Outlook, and that of the world, are being buffeted again by another in a series of recurring economic and political developments that slow, but do not derail growth,” Jestin said.

According to a report issued by Scotiabank, economic growth, investor confidence and financial markets have been cuffed by several developments over the past few months – including the expectation that the U.S Federal Reserve would slow down its extraordinary monetary stimulus, increased possibility of military intervention due to mounting threats in Syria and lastly, larger emerging market economies may gain strength.

The current partial government shutdown in the U.S. is also curbing economic growth, according to the report.

“Although it is still a low probability, the political, economic and financial market fallout associated with even a relatively brief failure by the U.S. Government to service its debt obligations could be much more severe and longer-lasting,” said Jestin.

“America’s fiscal deficit has been roughly halved in nominal dollar values, and the United States remains a diversified and resilient economy that continues to be supported by a very stimulative monetary policy,” Jestin said.

Yet, U.S. resiliency does not entirely negate severe outcomes.

In American default scenarios, investors may favour international portfolios, which would weaken the U.S. dollar, the report stated.

“Canadian exports and output will likely be pressured a bit by the events unfolding south of the border, though the overall impact will be limited by the resiliency in domestic personal spending and housing activity,” Jestin said, also adding that emerging market economies, like China, stabilizing and reinforcing the demand and cost of commodities.

Nevertheless, Jestin has an optimistic outlook and firmly believes there is no chance that the U.S will be forced into a default position.

Foreign Exchange

The Canadian dollar has lost some ground, but it is expected to stabilize in early 2014, a report issued by Scotiabank’s Camilla Sutton, chief foreign exchange strategist, said.

According to her report, presented by Jestin, Canada can no longer boast a twin current account, a budget surplus and strong fundamental growth. The report also stated that the current account and budget deficits would only narrow modestly in the next year.

Ultimately, the CAD will weaken until the end of the year and make a modest recovery in 2014.


Global Auto Report

Car sales picked up speed during the summer, but because of incentives on new cars and light trucks, the prices decreased by 5%, an economist from Scotiabank reported.

According to Jestin, China produces more automobiles than U.S., Canada and Mexico combined.

While car prices strengthen, particularly in the pre-owned market, rising supplies will limit gains, Jestin said.

Global Real Estate Trends

Jestin reported that Canadian housing activity remains afloat, but sustained gains are becoming less favourable due to a number of factors.

“Low borrowing costs and balanced market conditions continue to attract buyers, but slowing job growth and the recent uptick in fixed mortgage rates will likely cool activity later in the year and into 2014,” said Jestin.

Affordability, according to Jestin, is an ongoing problem in larger urban areas, especially for single-family homes.

Jestin concluded his findings on an uplifting note.

“I am very optimistic about the outlook for Canada,” said Jestin, but also added, “Accurate predictions require an advanced degree in astrology.”

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