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Weekly Commentary
Back in Surplus? - Sep 11, 2014
By Peter G. Hall, Vice-President and Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
We used to take surpluses for granted. But one key feature of post-crisis Canada was the emergence of a persistent trade deficit. In general, the word ‘deficit’ scares us, and in most cases, it should. But in this case, the red ink speaks of the resilience of Canadian domestic demand in the face of global collapse. More recently, the tables are turning, and the ink is getting blacker. Is this just a temporary shift, or is something bigger going on?
From a balanced position at the beginning of the 1980’s, Canada enjoyed a trade surplus for most of the decade. The 1990-91 recession threw us into deficit, albeit a mild one, where we stayed for a half-decade through the jobless recovery. What followed was a three-year spurt in the surplus, a two-year pause and then a full-blown rally that came to a crashing halt in 2009. This roller-coaster ride has taken the surplus as high as 7 per cent of GDP and the deficit as large as 3 per cent ...     More >>

Daily Update (Source: RBC Financial Group)
Canadian household net worth reached a new record high in the second quarter
Sep 12, 2014
- The market value for the net worth of Canadian households rose by 2.3% ($183 billion) in the second quarter of 2014 to $8.1 trillion. This represents the highest level of aggregate net worth on record.
- The gain in net worth reflected the $207 billion (2.1%) increase in household assets values (to $9.9 trillion) being partially offset by the $24 billion (1.3%) rise (to $1.8 trillion) in household liabilities.
- Credit market debt-to-asset and debt-to-net worth ratios trended lower in the second quarter to build on declines in the previous three quarters, falling modestly to 18.2% and 22.3%, respectively, from 18.3% and 22.5%, respectively, in the first quarter. In contrast, the credit market debt-to-income ratio moved higher for the first time ....     More >>

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