Too Soon to Call a Downturn
Report of the C.D. Howe Institute Business Cycle Council
July 28, 2015 - Data do not at this time allow declaring whether Canada has entered an economic downturn. This is the consensus view of the C.D. Howe Institute’s Business Cycle Council, which held its second meeting on July 22, 2015.
The Business Cycle Council is the arbiter of business cycle dates in Canada. The council is comprised of eminent economists active in the field, and acts as a conduit for research aimed at developing a deeper understanding of how the economy evolves and to provide guidance to policymakers. Members of the Business Cycle Council participate in their personal capacities, and the views collectively expressed do not represent those of any institution or client. The July 22nd meeting was chaired by Finn Poschmann, Vice-President, Policy Analysis, at the C.D. Howe Institute.
The council reviewed recent data for gross domestic product (GDP), for employment, and measures of sectoral activity. Weak GDP data in the first four months of 2015, primarily associated with low oil prices and falling investment in the energy and some other resource sectors, were accompanied by resilience in job markets at the national level. The Business Cycle Council therefore determined that as of July 22, data did not provide evidence that Canada had entered an economic downturn.