Canadian Economic Outlook

July 21, 2014

Eagerly awaiting the U.S. economy to say, “I am mighty, hear me roar!”(Part 2)

When public sector funding is required for some of the largest projects in this category, there is another source of encouraging news for our industry — naturally rising taxes. I’ll discuss this in more detail when we reach institutional construction.

July 18, 2014

Eagerly awaiting the U.S. economy to say, “I am mighty, hear me roar!”(Part 1)

There’s little reason the U.S. economy shouldn’t roar again.

July 17, 2014

America’s jobs market was ‘super-sized’ in June

Forget the 2.9% decline in U.S. “real” (i.e., inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product GDP in the first quarter of this year. That was largely a bad-weather phenomenon.

July 16, 2014

The inflation monster creeps out from under the bed

He hasn’t emerged entirely from under the bed yet, but the inflation monster in both the U.S. and Canada is rattling the frame and otherwise looking for ways to cause trouble.

July 15, 2014

Waiting for the genie to fulfill America’s third wish (Part 2)

The two major sub-components of commercial work appear in Graph 3 — retail and private office building construction — and both are hesitantly on the mend.

July 14, 2014

Waiting for the genie to fulfill America’s third wish (Part 1)

If corporate America is viewed as the legendary genie in the bottle, then the nation has already asked for and been granted two wishes.

July 11, 2014

A ranking of Ontario cities according to manufacturing job losses (Part 2)

Let’s look at some of those other cities, beginning at the top of the ranking.

July 10, 2014

Without offsets, new foreign worker regulations will impede economic growth

Against a background of sub-par employment growth and with the unemployment rate stuck at 7% for the past year, a number of observers have expressed concern that temporary foreign workers were “stealing” jobs from unemployed Canadians.

July 4, 2014

A ranking of Ontario cities according to manufacturing job losses (Part 1)

It’s a well-known fact that manufacturing employment in Canada has been in decline over the past decade-plus.

July 3, 2014

Prosperity promotes efficiency and funds a cleaner future (Part 2)

There are four construction categories that have inordinate influences on our daily lives and, therefore, on our quality of life (QOL). (Part 1 of this Economy at a Glance differentiated between QOL and SOL, an acronym for standard of living.)

June 30, 2014

Prosperity promotes efficiency and funds a cleaner future (Part 1)

In the face of scandals, little spending discipline and a likely debt downgrade, two out of every three voters in Ontario recently chose the status quo, only more so — that is to say, a Liberal majority government as opposed to a minority.

June 27, 2014

How to spend half a trillion dollars for the fun of it

Ottawa has given permission for Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project, intended to deliver Alberta oil to the West Coast for sale to Asian customers, to proceed.

June 26, 2014

Rising office vacancy rates temper outlook for office construction in 2014

Mid-way through 2014 the key indicators of commercial construction in general and of office space in particular appear not to be as positive as they were in mid-2013. First, after peaking at 3.2% year-over-year late in 2013, growth of office-based employment, a key driver of demand for new office space, has trended steadily lower over the past six months to its present rate of 0.4% in May.

June 23, 2014

A dozen mid-June economic nuggets

Just when you thought it was safe to follow politics again, Eric Cantor of Virginia, House Leader of the Republicans, suffers a stunning defeat in his own primary from Tea Party challenger, David Brat, an economics professor of all things. Elsewhere, old-guard Republicans have been holding off assaults from their further-right brethren. Opinions are mixed as to what this augurs.

June 20, 2014

Huge percentage increases in some engineering construction sub-categories

In my previous Economy at a Glance, I may have inadvertently omitted “the lead”.

June 19, 2014

Major engineering construction sub-categories other than oil and gas

Engineering construction includes many segments of specialization

June 17, 2014

U.S. can break out the bubbly based on its May jobs report

With May’s net jobs increase of 217,000 as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much will be made of the fact the U.S. has finally caught up to its pre-recession level of total employment, at nearly 140 million.

June 16, 2014

Canada’s auto sector afterthought status is unwarranted (Part 2)

Continuing with the analysis begun in the previous Economy at a Glance, Graph 3 serves up several important observations and deductions. For ease of comparison, total motor vehicle sales in both Canada and the U.S. are converted into indices with January 2000 = 100.0.

June 13, 2014

Canada’s auto sector afterthought status is unwarranted (Part 1)

The following is a broad-strokes analysis of the Canadian and U.S. auto markets. Relevant information is set out in four accompanying charts.

June 12, 2014

New Brunswick’s economy is warming but still showing signs of late spring frost bite

There is plenty of evidence that New Brunswick’s economy has not completely thawed out after having endured what can only be described as the winter from hell.


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