Peter Hall
Peter Hall, is the Chief Economist at Export Development Canada (EDC). A 25-year veteran of economic forecasting, Peter oversees a group of economists and political risk analysts that help EDC in providing approximately $100 billion in financing and insurance products to over 7700 Canadian companies across nearly 200 markets.

Entries by Peter Hall

The Hidden Truth in Unemployment Stats

(6) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 5:29 PM

Have you seen the numbers lately? We should be celebrating in the streets! Recent economic performance has driven unemployment rates down to levels that many believed would not be seen for years to come. So why doesn't it feel that way? Is everyone missing the greatest development in the world...

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What Canada's Export Numbers Tell Us About Global Demand

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 4:12 PM

Last week's merchandise trade figures were pretty impressive, all things considered. Weather has wracked a lot of January and February indicators, but so far, you can count out Canadian trade. Were we just lucky, did we capitalize on others' weather misfortunes, or is something else going on?

Likely all three...

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Are Prices About to Go Up?

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 4:12 PM

"Below target": It's becoming the annoyingly common anthem of statistical agencies' press releases on price growth. Central banks are joining the chorus, which when played sounds like a dirge for prices that harmonizes closely with the well-worn tunes of the 'new normal', low-growth movement. Admittedly, singing upbeat songs about price...

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The World Is Getting Hungrier

(1) Comments | Posted March 6, 2014 | 2:26 PM

Agriculture is rarely found in the "wow" segments of the media. It typically operates in the economic background, a critical but unsung sector of industry. Until some crisis interrupts its supply chain, that is. Mere rumours of food shortage are enough to incite panic; grocery store shelves empty instantly when...

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Get Set for the Next Round of Rate Tightening

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Nobody minds much when employment, GDP, leading indicators, confidence and other key growth-signals are up. But when 'up' starts to get in to the interest rate discourse, it's usually not so pleasant. After three-and-a-half years of ho-hum on this front, there is renewed interest in interest rates: where they are...

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Canadian Trade: Pros and Cons for 2014

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 4:47 PM

When international trade collapsed in 2009, the Canadian economy turned inward, and for a change, discovered a steady source of growth. That source is now tapped out, and economy-watchers have for some time turned their eyes back to trade. So far, the view has been uninspiring. Will Canadian trade carry...

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Why Colombia's is the Next Economy to Watch

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 11:56 AM

Remember early 2008? Growth was great, resources looked scarce, and commodity prices were soaring. Scan the banter, and it almost seemed as if there were no new frontiers to tackle in the world economy. That worry actually spurred a search that ignited interest in new prospects. Colombia is a great...

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Thinking Growth Markets? Think Mexico, Again.

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 4:14 PM

One brief look at Mexico's GDP numbers for 2013, and you'd likely say, "What happened?" At the outset of the year, forecasts were calling for between 3-to-4 per cent growth. Instead, the final tally is looking more like 1.2 per cent. That's a pretty sizeable miss. If lots went wrong...

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Business Investment: A Sleeping Giant Awakens?

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 4:15 PM

Economy-watchers with a bent for the wild side love business investment. It's volatile, fickle, and often large and lumpy. It shows up when it wants to, often after the party is in full swing. There's also heavy global competition to win investment projects -- it is increasingly influenced by generous...

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Will U.S. Consumers Up Their Spending This Year?

(0) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 11:14 AM

American consumers are happy again -- at long last. Good for them -- but should we really be ecstatic about this? After all, the last time they were truly happy, it cost the world dearly. It has taken five years to absorb the overconsumption of that episode, and some are...

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Six Reasons to Smile About Business Prospects in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 11:16 AM

Five years beyond the crisis, we are still looking for that solid year of growth that puts us conclusively beyond the lean years. Compared with known history of the economy's ups and downs, five years is an extremely long time to wait for a return to anything like normal. Can...

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Surprise of the Year: Hope Restored?

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 5:23 PM

Following four years filled with surprises, it's hard to imagine anything really causing our hearts to jump in 2013. Face it, as with roller coasters, most of the economy's post-crisis surprises have been on the downside. And like hardened adolescents who have experienced everything the most extreme theme parks could...

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Canada's Small Businesses Are Taking on the Big World

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 4:39 PM

Exporting. Globalization. Diversification. These are big terms, and we usually associate them with big business. We can even go as far as to think that in a great, big, new, trading world, small business really doesn't fit the model, doesn't really belong in the game -- that you really need...

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How Are Canadian Exporters Feeling? You Might Be Surprised

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 3:28 PM

For all the pre-crisis talk about resource scarcity, the rarest commodity since crisis hit is confidence. But now, it's the comeback kid of the global economy: the long hibernation is over, and across a number of heavy-hitting economies, confidence is normalizing. Thankfully, Canadian exporters seem to agree. Export Development Canada's...

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The Economic Indicators That Need Sober Second Thought

(0) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 11:23 AM

Leading indicators have gained more prominence in the post-crisis period, if only because the on-again, off-again economy has intensified scrutiny of shifts in momentum. However, the unusual circumstances that gave rise to delayed recovery and the extraordinary stimulative measures taken to rebuff weakness have distorted certain indicators, forcing analysts to...

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Which Province Ranks the Highest in Trade and Commerce?

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 6:56 AM

All eyes are on international trade as we head into 2014. If we as a country are going to chalk up decent growth numbers, external activity is going to have to punch above its weight. Conditions seem favourable for a growth acceleration -- but will all of Canada's provinces cash...

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What's Working in Canada's Economy and What Isn't

(2) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 4:54 PM

Canada seems to be losing some of its recent gleam. Post-crisis, we received accolades for our financial stability, fiscal prudence, rich resource base and resilient domestic demand. Now, our consumers are fast becoming as indebted as pre-crisis Americans, housing activity is overblown, and commodity prices have softened. Against expectations, exports...

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Is Canada's Growing Trade with this Booming Region a Good Thing?

(5) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 5:17 PM

We Canadians are not the same as we used to be. More and more, Canadian business is seeing the world as its stage. The transformation stepped up in 2003, and since then, diversification of trade to emerging markets has flourished. With the world economy on the verge of a new...

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What Does the APEC-CEO Summit Reveal About Canada's Trade and Investment Future?

(1) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 4:32 PM

Enveloped in cloudless skies, brilliant sun and crystal waters, the delegates at the APEC-CEO summit in Bali had almost perfect conditions for clear communication. The conference didn't disappoint. Presentation after presentation took into account the fast-growth years, the ravages of the crisis, and offered thoughts on the way forward. Were...

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Breakthrough: U.S. Confidence Finally Returns

(5) Comments | Posted October 3, 2013 | 5:26 PM

Gloom has been a key feature of the post-crisis world. Confidence reached all-time lows in early 2009 as the reality of a massive correction dawned on the households and businesses of the Western world. Stimulus did little to revive sentiments, especially as the promising initial growth surge faded after six...

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