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Conference Board sees modest economic growth in Canada

Staff Writer |
The national economy should seen see a slight pick-up this year, the Conference Board of Canada said in a new report.

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The Conference Board said it sees overall growth of 1.9 percent this year, up from the 1.3 percent it expects will be reported for last year.

"The plunge in energy investment is expected to slow and we should finally see a resurgence in non-energy investment," the Conference Board said.

"Canadian exports are also expected to fare a little better as the U.S. economy picks up speed and the Canadian dollar remains weak," the group said, but added that exports levels will still remain low by historical standards.

Federal stimulus spending is expected to give a boost to national economic growth, although provincial belt-tightening is forecast to offset some of that.

Looking ahead to 2018, "dismal" business investment levels and slowing labour force growth mean it is unlikely there will be any acceleration in GDP growth, they said.

The group said that consumer spending has been a "bright spot" in the economy, seeing increases in recent years despite weak job growth in some provinces and soft wage gain.

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