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Peter Hall

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.
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Are the BRICS' Economies Slowing Permanently?

How the mighty are falling. Resilience was a word used liberally to boast of the BRICS countries' staying power in the post-crisis period. Many even ascribed global-growth-engine status to these rising powerhouses. But 2013 has been a second tough year for the August group, even as OECD nations are steadily returning to growth.
09/18/2013 05:21 EDT

Why Are So Many Emerging Markets Taking Protests to the Streets?

Mass protests have become an all-too-common post-crisis occurrence in major cities around the world. The sheer number of them elicits key questions. What is making them so prevalent? Where will the movement strike next? And more personally, how will protests affect our international business operations?
09/11/2013 05:23 EDT

Price Movements Cut Through Circular Economy Talk

Tired of the long, drawn-out debate on future economic growth? You're in good company. It's a necessary debate, because our individual livelihoods depend on it. But it's a frustrating one, because there's little agreement, and the arguments are oftimes circuitous -- even those made by the "experts." Is there a way out of the analytical quagmires that we are currently up to our axles in?
08/22/2013 04:16 EDT

Is China Slowing Down for Good?

Sino-slowing is among the top topics on the summer chat circuit. It's a small wonder; current trends seem to break with a stunning 30-year winning streak that has set a lot of modern-day records, and...
07/31/2013 12:04 EDT

Policy Will Drag on Economic Growth, But Not For Long

The bottom line? Fiscal policy is already a drag on growth, and will be, but perhaps not for as long as many now believe, given the speed with which fiscal dynamics can flip around. Monetary policy is generally expected to tighten, but in a way that does not undermine, but rather lend support to nascent economic growth.
07/24/2013 11:00 EDT

Canada: A World Leader in 2012 Foreign Investment Rankings

These flows provide us with access to key resources, fast-growing markets and allow for production systems that are better aligned to country or regional economic attributes owing to the efficiencies of global supply chains. As such, it is essential to keep a close eye on global investment movements. What can we say about recent activity?
07/18/2013 11:38 EDT

Will the Summer Shine on or Sour the Economy?

There's a sour seasonality that has become entrenched in recent global economics. In the past few years, summer has become a disarmingly punctual momentum-killer of global production. Perhaps the most critical question in EDC's Summer 2013 Global Export Forecast is whether we are in for yet another summer drubbing, or whether this is the year we break with that sorry tradition.
07/11/2013 12:34 EDT

Will Unemployment Lead to a Productivity Pop?

Employment is always a lagging indicator of the economic cycle, but today's lags are fast becoming legend. In some cases, unemployment is still rising almost five years after the onset of crisis. Will employment ever turn around, and if so, when?
07/04/2013 09:09 EDT

Why Exporters Should Keep Their Chins Up

The world has become used to perpetual gloom, and those at the early end of their careers have known nothing but. Recent budding optimism stateside could be the very remedy for an increasingly tentative Canadian exporter. US sentiment is an indicator worth keeping a keen eye on.
06/06/2013 03:27 EDT

Export Growth Predictions: See How Canada's Provinces Stack Up

International trade will be a key growth driver for the Canadian economy this year and next. However, the distribution of export growth in Canada's provinces is anything but even. Some are leading the charge, while others are steady at the national pace. Others are lagging behind, some quite seriously. What are the key factors influencing the different growth patterns?
05/16/2013 05:35 EDT

Business Investment: Ready to Roll?

The economic and financial meteorite that crashed into the world economy back in 2008 left a massive crater. Since then, policymakers have been scrambling to fill it in. All the while, many have cast a wistful, sardonic or resentful eye at a glaring anti-crater: the mountain of money accumulating on corporate balance sheets.
03/28/2013 05:48 EDT

Wood Someone Check These Prices?

Commodity prices are all down, right? Wrong! Commodity prices have scored high on the economic shock-talk scale in the past decade. Although prices are generally still riding high, the recent trend ha...
03/06/2013 02:26 EST

Fast Facts on Trade in 2012

Normally, this column is forward-looking, but occasionally, it pays to reflect on recent events. Annual merchandise trade data for 2012 are hot off the press, and analysts are still dissecting the det...
03/01/2013 05:28 EST

Is the Loonie Really Losing it?

Stable is not a word that can be used to describe much in today's economy. A notable exception is the Canadian dollar. The loonie has soared in a reasonably tight range around parity with the U.S. dollar for 3 years now. Although exporters would prefer a lower level, the stability has made activity and cash flows somewhat more predictable. Now, the loonie is losing some loft; what's happening?
02/21/2013 12:08 EST

A Tale of Two Housing Markets: US and Canada

As of December, US housing starts are just shy of the million mark, up 37 per cent over December, 2011. In contrast, Canada's January starts plunged 20 per cent compared with year-ago data, eking out just 161,000 units. Are we headed for recession while the US economy recovers?
02/13/2013 05:42 EST

How Mexico's Economy Survived the Slump

Few economies escaped the global slowdown in the summer of 2012. Mexico was a rare and notable exception. While marked deterioration in China, India and Brazil grabbed the headlines, Mexico quietly hummed along, generating remarkably smooth growth.
01/23/2013 12:20 EST

Buyers Control the Bucks. What Are They Saying?

Is business growing? Ask the buyers. Want a hot gauge of economic activity? It's probably best to go to the front lines. There are many indicators of economic activity, but they don't all tell the same story. One of those is the purchasing managers' index, now collected for a wide array of countries. What are these "buyers" telling us?
01/18/2013 12:17 EST