2013 – A Year of Challenges & Opportunities for the Canadian Economy

July 04, 2014

The Canadian economy ended 2012 on the economic front foot. But it’s now a new year and there are new economic challenges to face as the country works with others on the international scene to respond to external and internal issues. As the country moves forward into 2013, we’re going to take a look at the trends that are set to play a key role in Canada’s future both internationally and domestically.

While there are many reasons for optimism on the state of Canada’s economy, austerity measures and other growth-stifling policies in effect in large countries around the globe are bound to have an effect on the country in 2013. The year looks set to become a key focal point in the history of the Eurozone and with many countries including the UK, Spain, Portugal and of course, Greece still affected by slow growth and high unemployment, Canada’s economy as an economic partner to the affected nations will face some downward pressure.

This downward pressure on the economy is highlighted by a number of reports recently released from IMF, which predicts growth of 1.8% in 2013 for Canada, down from the 2% it had early predicted.

The euro area continues to pose a large downside risk to the global outlook. In particular, risks of prolonged stagnation in the euro area as a whole will rise if the momentum for reform is not maintained.”

IMF Spokesperson Speaking at 2013 Davos Economic Forum

On the international economic scene there are some positive notes for China and the US, however, as both countries look set to emerge from several quarters of slow growth to achieve accelerated economic expansion. And with the US economy becoming stronger, attention now turns to the domestic economy here in Canada.

Canadians are still struggling to maintain consumer debt, an issue which is set to take on further significance as we move forward into 2013. January has already seen many of the Canadian banks’ credit ratings take a hit based on consumer debt concerns. The consumer debt issue has brightened the media spotlight on the housing market as a source for concern. However, local markets continue to represent a great opportunity for those who invest with the right approach.

While there are many media organizations still ruthlessly holding the party line on the “housing crisis” and its effect on the national economy, it seems that local real estate markets here at home are set to achieve superb growth in 2013. Looking past the fiery headlines, positivity shines from the Hamilton housing market for example.

A recent report released by the Ternet National Bank House Price Index showed that the Hamilton housing market prices rose 7.4% in 2012,highlighting the tremendous economic growth the area has achieved in recent years. Hamilton’s Director for Planning and Economic Development, Neil Everson believes the city’s growth is largely based on influx from Toronto’s flagging housing market:

Prices are likely increasing in part due to an influx of commuters from Toronto. I think we’ve been discovered.”

Neil Everson, Hamilton’s Director for Planning and Economic Development

The city of Hamilton, Ontario now takes pride of place on the international housing map as one of the most affordable areas in which to invest in real estate. While some of Canada’s cities continue to be overpriced when compared with similar cities around the globe, thus sparking housing crisis concerns, regional markets in cities such as Hamilton, Barrie and Calgary are all at the beginning of upward market trends as we move into 2013.

It’s an exciting year ahead for both Canada as a country and those of us involved in Canadian real estate and we’ll continue to pay close, analytical attention to major events as they take place throughout the marketplace. The potential for 2013 is exciting for both industry veterans and newcomers alike.