Canada economic growth less than forecast: Finance minister

Says past 10 years of low growth posed real challenges for country
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 09/28/2016
REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government will look at what more it can do to help the economy if needed, with economic growth less than had been forecast in the budget released earlier this year, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said on Monday.

Morneau told reporters that the budget the new Liberal government unveiled earlier this year was starting to have an impact, though he did not comment on whether the government would speed up the pace of infrastructure spending.

Nonetheless, he said economic growth was slower than expected and that the past 10 years of low growth posed real challenges for the country.

The Liberal government, elected last October, in its budget forecast a deficit nearly three times larger than what it promised during the campaign, in order to boost spending on infrastructure and other areas in hopes of stimulating the economy.

The average private sector forecast by economists surveyed by the government ahead of the budget had predicted growth of 1.4 per cent this year and 2.2 per cent in 2017. The budget also included a $6 billion adjustment for risk in each year's deficit figures.

The government typically provides a fiscal update to the budget in November or December.

Morneau also said he was staying focused on housing and added that the risk in the market was being managed appropriately. The recent acceleration in home prices in Vancouver and Toronto has raised fears that Canada's housing market is overvalued.

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