Canada's 2024 Economic Outlook: Hope Amid Challenges

Written by  jasleen Kaur   |  January 01st 2024 04:50 PM  |  Updated: January 01st 2024 04:50 PM

Canada's 2024 Economic Outlook: Hope Amid Challenges

PTC Web Desk: After enduring an 18-month period dominated by a cost-of-living crisis and a sluggish economy, several economic indicators are offering a glimmer of hope for Canada in 2024. Notably, inflation has markedly slowed, averting a full-scale recession.

Experts express optimism, highlighting the significant decline in inflation without a concurrent recession as positive news. However, the challenge remains in achieving the target inflation rate of two percent without causing substantial economic strain.

Potential Relief and Ongoing Challenges

The previous year grappled with rising interest rates and persistent high prices. The year ahead anticipates relief on these fronts, though new challenges are foreseen. The Bank of Canada's efforts aim to bring inflation within the one-to-three percent range by the year's first quarter.

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem cautiously acknowledged the economy's progress in rebalancing, citing the elimination of excess demand that had driven prices higher over the past years. Nonetheless, as inflation concerns ease, worries about a potential recession emerge.

Economic Slowdown and GDP Concerns

Higher interest rates have slowed down the Canadian economy significantly, leading to stagnant growth in the past two quarters. Despite a boost from historic population growth, when adjusted on a per capita basis, the GDP appears markedly anemic.

Economists, including those from RBC, highlight the consecutive decline in per-capita GDP, signaling a prolonged economic downturn. Moreover, the full impact of previous rate hikes is yet to be absorbed, with more economic strain predicted by experts like Royce Mendes from Desjardins Capital.

Impending Mortgage Challenges and Rate Adjustments

A significant portion of Canadian households will face mortgage renewals at substantially higher rates over the next two years. Anticipating the economic strain from this, experts suggest potential interest rate cuts by the Bank of Canada in 2024 and possibly into 2025.

The C.D. Howe Institute's survey of monetary policy experts echoes the call for rate cuts, recommending a reduction to four percent by the year-end. This move aims to alleviate the financial pressure on households and businesses affected by the economic turbulence of the past years.

Caution Amidst Prospects of Recovery

While price growth is expected to moderate and interest rates are projected to decrease, economists warn of significant damage inflicted on Canadian consumers. Adjustments in spending behaviors indicate a cautious approach by households. Cautious optimism persists, suggesting a gradual economic recovery in the latter half of 2024 amidst ongoing challenges.

Cautiously Optimistic Outlook for Economic Recovery

Despite prevailing challenges, an air of cautious optimism prevails, hinting at a potential resurgence in the economy's momentum by the latter part of 2024, albeit after enduring the lingering effects of recent economic turmoil.





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