Chief Economist, Export Development Canada
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.
Financial markets are likely in for a bumpy ride in the coming years -- what we now see is perhaps a foretaste. Hiding from the ups and downs isn't likely an option. Looking for this period's manifold opportunities could actually be exciting.
Canada's energy sector service and equipment exporters are in for tough times, and cash flows for oil and gas exporters will tighten significantly. This is already beginning to spill red ink on Canada's trade and fiscal statistics. However, Canada's non-energy sector exporters should see a substantial boost.
05/15/2015 12:50 EDT
On Monday the renminbi (RMB -- Chinese currency) will step into Canada with the inauguration of the only RMB hub in the Americas. We know in Canada it will be greeted with fanfare, but what is less certain is whether or not Canadian exporters and international investors will take action once the celebration ends. Should they?
03/19/2015 05:18 EDT
A weaker Canadian dollar poses a threat to imported inputs to Canada's production machine, and to future Canadian investments abroad. But the soaring U.S. dollar isn't the only currency in play. Movements in other currencies are less dramatic. Perhaps this is an opportunity to scan the globe both for inputs to our production process and for direct investment undertakings in less-traditional markets.
03/11/2015 05:21 EDT
How is Canada faring in our industrial diversification? Progress on trade diversification over the past 15 years is likely one of the most remarkable developments in Canadian economic history. A strong dependence on traditional markets was only enhanced by the Canada-US FTA, which saw exports to the US soar to over 85 per cent of the total. But a big shift began in the New Millennium.
02/20/2015 12:59 EST
Japan's net financial liabilities used to take it off the hook. However, they too have soared, and now stand well above Greece's, at 140 per cent, and rising. Many will argue that although these ratios seem impossibly high, the debt is mostly domestically owned, and thus not vulnerable to jittery foreign financial markets, currency fluctuations and the like.
02/13/2015 05:40 EST
In contrast to the snow-bound North, the weather for my brief trip to Mexico last week was close to ideal. It was in stark contrast to the economic weather in emerging markets these days, which is more like what the US Northeast is currently coping with. Is Mexico's economy more in keeping with its sunny skies, or is the situation as gloomy as in other emerging markets?
02/05/2015 05:42 EST
When the storm hits, it's all we can think about -- especially if the power goes out. It can seem like an eternity, and can obliterate any pre-storm memory. This sounds eerily similar to the oil price tempest we are in the middle of right now. Today's price seems like the only reality, except that the plunge is still on. Are we going to survive this thing? Can we ever expect a return to calm? Dial in to the news, and you'd be tempted to think not. It's natural that storms bring about their own brand of myopia, but that's when experience should make us wiser. And we all have a lot of that to draw on.
01/22/2015 05:09 EST
The tides of reform will forever move in ebbs and flows, influenced by the prevailing socio-economic context. But, while there will always be outliers (and one should pay close attention to ratings differentiation), the current wave of reforms still has momentum. If so, this will have the capacity to deliver enormous wealth to host countries, and reveal substantial opportunities for Canadian companies.
01/15/2015 05:00 EST
Six years beyond the onset of global crisis and the lamentation seems louder: pundits are increasingly perplexed by the planet's prolonged period of perpetual perturbations. So, does anything stand out in 2014 as an "out of the blue" development?
12/17/2014 04:33 EST
Price movements have grabbed the headlines in recent weeks. Commodity prices are falling, and as always, there are various arguments about the reasons this time. The implications are serious, so the debates are warranted. But the more pressing issue is recent movement in the general price level. Overall price growth has weakened lately, and there is renewed worry about disinflation and deflation (the dreaded Ds). Five years beyond the crisis, and we are still worried about this? What's going on?
12/10/2014 04:48 EST
Will the decades of multilateral effort and untold resources that have been devoted to freeing up global trade flows continue, or will protectionism, international trade's arch enemy, be the recession's enduring legacy? There are at least 10 reasons to speed the death of neo-protectionism.
12/03/2014 05:45 EST
The US industrial machine is facing very tight capacity at the same time as growth is ramping up. This has unshackled investment, and this time, it's no day pass. Firms have already begun to invest, so their suppliers need to wake up. Their competitors also need to take note, as they may soon have an opportunity to "help" fill the capacity gap.
11/26/2014 06:01 EST
Higher oil costs spell the end of globalization. The messages flashed across the globe repeatedly, and were so believable that speculation heightened the havoc. But the bubble burst, and six years on, prices are south of $90 per barrel and falling. Do lower prices make sense, or is this just temporary?
11/20/2014 11:32 EST
Ask anyone you meet on the street whether political risk has risen in the last few years, and you'd likely get a convincing "yes." Crisis has fed our appetite for media sensation, and on the global political front there has been no lack of material. What appeared to be rock-solid regimes fell in mere days, triggering copycat events elsewhere with very similar results, and sending tremors across the planet's political landscape.
11/13/2014 05:58 EST
You thought it was dead for good. So did I. It's a proven misfit in an ever-globalizing world. But the 'D' word is back. The U.S. economy is on the move, but Europe is stuck in the mud. Suddenly, there's lots of talk -- once again -- about decoupling.
11/06/2014 02:29 EST
Tightening U.S. monetary policy suggests that the Canadian dollar will remain weak. And in spite of competitiveness concerns, exports are rising enough this year to suggest 10 per cent growth, and an added 6 per cent in 2015. This in turn will spur business investment, lifting Canadian GDP growth to 2.8 per cent in 2015.
11/03/2014 05:30 EST
If you build it, he will come. In this case, "it" is not a baseball diamond, but a renminbi (RMB) hub, and "he" is not Shoeless Joe Jackson, but rather a business community eager to trade and invest in RMB. So far, the "build-it first" approach has paid dividends for Hong Kong, London, Taipei, and Singapore. Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Seoul, and a host of other jurisdictions are also showing initial promise after recently signing hub agreements. But will this approach work for Canada?
10/24/2014 06:09 EDT
Heralded not so long ago as economic engines through the crisis years, emerging markets' neo-slowing has been a big disappointment. Latin America is no exception; a trip there two weeks ago confirmed that sentiment has soured. What's up?
10/17/2014 12:24 EDT
Its small share of the overall marketplace might lead many to conclude that small exporters are too small to warrant attention. That would be a great mistake. The dynamism of this segment suggests that it is already a powerful new force in Canada's economy.
10/03/2014 12:28 EDT
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