OTTAWA — Finance Minister Bill Morneau will listen to a range of ideas Friday on how best to prepare for his upcoming federal budget at a time of growing protectionist risk emanating from the U.S.
But when Morneau hears the views of private-sector economists, he can expect their input on the potential impacts of a Donald Trump presidency to follow a similar theme: uncertainty.
As part of the budget-writing process, federal finance ministers routinely call on outside economists for their forecasts.
CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld says he expects the consensus projection to show a slight improvement in the Canadian economic outlook since the fall — but he adds it won't account for any potential fallout from Trump's promised policies.
Shenfeld says Morneau should build his budget almost as if nothing has changed, because it's too early to know if and when Trump will fulfil his tax-cutting, tariff-boosting vows.
But Craig Alexander of The Conference Board of Canada says he thinks Trump creates enough uncertainty that a prudence factor is appropriate in Morneau's budget.