The federal government's much-anticipated fall economic statement was released yesterday, Nov. 21. There were few surprises from a government that has little room left to spend and a tepid economic environment to work with.
"(The federal government) followed a highly stimulative fiscal framework following the pandemic, from which they had not significantly withdrawn as the economy hit its capacity in the past two years. That forced the Bank of Canada to apply even more restrictive monetary policy to offset the effects of the government’s stimulative impulses, akin to pushing the brake and gas pedals at the same time," the Conference Board of Canada said in its analysis. "Let us hope that the two policymaking bodies can begin to row in the same direction in the future as inflation pressures subside. Interest rates will likely be coming down next year, but negative federal fiscal balances also need to be pushed back toward neutral territory at a greater pace."
There are some positives for business as the statement included proposals to ensure open access to markets, fewer taxes on mental health support and relief for mortgage holders at risk from higher interest rates. The government also earmarked $15 billion for rental home construction, though there are no details on how the funds will deliver 30,000 new units as promised.
Consultations have begun on the 2024 federal budget and The Chamber will work with our national network to give members a voice in the process.