Connect with us

Economy

Canada's economic optimism crippled by pandemic, Pew poll suggests – KitchenerToday.com

Published

on


Confidence in the Canadian economy took a dramatic dive over the summer in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — a whipsaw pivot seen around the world but sharper in Canada than any other country surveyed in a new global public opinion poll.

Sixty-one per cent of Canadians who took part in the Pew Research Center survey released Thursday described the country’s current economic situation as bad, more than twice the 27 per cent who said the same thing last year.

Of the 14 countries included in the poll, the 12 that were also asked the same question last year all reported double-digit reversals in sentiment, with Canada’s 34 percentage-point change leading the way.

“The sharpest uptick in negative assessments has come in Canada, where second-quarter losses in gross domestic product were estimated at 12 per cent,” the centre said in a release. “Negative assessments have also grown by 30 percentage points in the UK, U.S. and Australia.”

The Canadian segment of the survey, conducted by phone with 1,037 adult respondents between June 15 and July 27, carries a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Of those surveyed in the U.S., 69 per cent said they believe the economy is doing poorly, compared with 30 per cent who disagreed — a finding roughly in line with the 14-country median results of 68 per cent and 31 per cent.

Only in Europe did a majority of respondents say their domestic economies were faring well, with Denmark and Sweden leading the way, at 74 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively.

The two Scandanavian nations are notable for their dramatically different pandemic strategies: Sweden initially adopted a libertarian, herd-immunity approach, while Denmark was the second country in Europe to impose a nationwide lockdown.

“But even (in Sweden), GDP is expected to contract by roughly 5 per cent in 2020, and Swedes are 11 percentage points more likely to think economic conditions in their country are poor than in 2019.”

The Pew report documents an unsurprisingly dismal outlook for the world’s economic prospects, with Canada and the U.S. as notable outliers.

Of Canadian respondents, 48 per cent said they expect the economy to improve over the next 12 months, compared with 34 per cent who expect the opposite and 17 per cent predicting no change. In the U.S., the optimism is even stronger: 52 per cent said they see a brighter future ahead, compared with 32 per cent who do not.

Only Spain, Germany and Australia reported similar levels of optimism.

Almost across the board, those who disapproved of how their country has handled the outbreak were more likely to describe the economy as poor. In Canada, 85 per cent of those disappointed in the government’s handling of COVID-19 had a negative view of the economy, compared with 58 per cent of those who gave the feds a passing grade on the pandemic.

In the U.S., 87 per cent of those disappointed in the Trump administration’s handling of the outbreak described the economy as bad, compared with 50 per cent of those who said the government has done a good job.

Story by James McCarten – The Canadian Press

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

How our economy recovers: what Canadians need in a throne speech – theglobeandmail.com

Published

on


Mark Wiseman is chair of the Alberta Investment Management Corporation.

The economic crisis wrought by COVID-19 has been devastating, and the effects will linger long after a vaccine. In the early days of the pandemic our government quite rightly threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the problem, to protect Canadians physically and economically. The government and the Bank of Canada worked quickly and deployed every fiscal and monetary tool available.

Now, a little more than six months into the crisis, we have racked up hundreds of billions of dollars of debt and monetary policy is quickly reaching its limits. Paying this debt back, especially with the medium-term threat of inflation, will be crippling for a generation of Canadians. To avoid this eventuality, we must embark today on a long-term growth and recovery plan.

Story continues below advertisement

There is no doubt that government must continue to spend aggressively. This path is not one that we chose; the pandemic has thrust it upon us. But now that we are here, it is crucial that dollars are spent efficiently and in ways that will stimulate long-term growth. A sustainable economic recovery needs to see Canada’s long-term GDP growth rate rise to approximately 3 per cent (from a prepandemic 2 per cent) to make certain that we can pay off the billions in necessary expenditures.

To begin, Ottawa should ensure spending on near-term relief programs are highly effective and efficient. Every dollar the government spends needs to be repaid, so it should be extra vigilant with every penny spent. Ottawa needs to quickly revisit existing programs to eliminate unintended consequences and disincentives – ensuring that Canadians get safely back to work as soon as possible.

In regards to the longer term, the private sector will lead the economic recovery. The government’s growth plan ought to be one where it invests aggressively in both physical and human capital to catalyze the private sector and create jobs. Government, labour and business must work together to achieve Canada’s economic growth goals.

Ottawa’s investment in physical and human capital should therefore focus on six priorities:

1. The first is long-term infrastructure that catalyzes economic growth, such as investments in transit, transport, pipelines, ports and communications infrastructure. These are projects that will create jobs today and pay dividends for decades to come.

2. Getting our natural resources, including energy, to market efficiently and safely is imperative. We must invest today to get our products to where the demand is globally. Time is of the essence and our natural resources sectors are imperilled. Wherever possible, Ottawa needs to partner with Indigenous communities to achieve this.

3. We must build resiliency into vital components of our supply chain – COVID-19 taught us the importance of this. We cannot allow ourselves to be at risk again. Both government and the private sector must invest more in our supply chains, especially in critical areas such as agriculture and medical needs.

Story continues below advertisement

4. The government should support start-ups and innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises through tax incentives, specifically encouraging equity investment and ownership in a small number of key areas where we have demonstrated capabilities, including information technology and agribusiness

5. We need more people – a lot more. We need skilled and unskilled labour from all over the world. The government ought to double down on our immigration advantage, especially for getting talent that traditionally has gone to the United States. In the near term, we must increase our immigration target to 500,000 a year and provide guaranteed permanent residency to any foreigner who completes a postsecondary degree or diploma in Canada. Almost all our economic growth since the Second World War is attributable to population growth. Given current birth rates, accelerated growth requires accelerated immigration.

6. As it has done with health care transfers, Ottawa should work aggressively with provincial governments to create a national child-care/early childhood education program that will be in place within 24 months. This program is conceived as an economic initiative, not a social program. It is required in order to a) achieve higher work force participation by making it easier for caregivers, most often women, to work, b) make it easier for Canadians to have children if they choose to do so, and c) focus on the next generation, since it has been proven that early learning is one of the most important components of human success.

Finally, all the above growth initiatives can and should be done through a green lens, even though a green recovery in and of itself is not a recovery plan. Achieving this growth objective will not be easy. But the government can develop a clear and cogent plan and work with partners in business and labour to execute.

Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

India's Nobel laureate fears upsurge in child labour as pandemic shrivels economy – The Journal Pioneer

Published

on


By Sunil Kataria

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – For four decades Indian Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi rescued thousands of children from the scourge of slavery and trafficking but he fears all his efforts could reverse as the coronavirus pandemic forces children into labour.

“The biggest threat is that millions of children may fall back into slavery, trafficking, child labour, child marriage,” said Satyarthi who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his work to combat child labour and child trafficking in India.

As the pandemic pummels the Indian economy, pushing millions of people into poverty, families are under pressure to put their children to work to make ends meet.

While rates of child labour have declined over the last few years, about 10.1 million children are still in some form of servitude in India, according to the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.

Across India child labourers can be found in a variety of industries such as brick kilns, carpet-weaving, garment-making, domestic service, agriculture, fisheries and mining.

Earlier this month, Satyarthi’s organisation backed by police rescued dozens of girls during a raid on a shrimp processing unit in western India.

“Once children fall into that trap they could be pulled into prostitution and could be trafficked easily … this is another danger which government have to address now,” he said, adding that he believed sexual abuse of children was also on the rise due to the pandemic.

“I cannot be satisfied even if one single child is enslaved … it means there is something wrong in our polity, in our economy, in our society, we have to ensure that not a single child is left out,” he told Reuters.

(Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Economy

India's Nobel laureate fears upsurge in child labour as pandemic shrivels economy – TheChronicleHerald.ca

Published

on


By Sunil Kataria

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – For four decades Indian Nobel peace laureate Kailash Satyarthi rescued thousands of children from the scourge of slavery and trafficking but he fears all his efforts could reverse as the coronavirus pandemic forces children into labour.

“The biggest threat is that millions of children may fall back into slavery, trafficking, child labour, child marriage,” said Satyarthi who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 for his work to combat child labour and child trafficking in India.

As the pandemic pummels the Indian economy, pushing millions of people into poverty, families are under pressure to put their children to work to make ends meet.

While rates of child labour have declined over the last few years, about 10.1 million children are still in some form of servitude in India, according to the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF.

Across India child labourers can be found in a variety of industries such as brick kilns, carpet-weaving, garment-making, domestic service, agriculture, fisheries and mining.

Earlier this month, Satyarthi’s organisation backed by police rescued dozens of girls during a raid on a shrimp processing unit in western India.

“Once children fall into that trap they could be pulled into prostitution and could be trafficked easily … this is another danger which government have to address now,” he said, adding that he believed sexual abuse of children was also on the rise due to the pandemic.

“I cannot be satisfied even if one single child is enslaved … it means there is something wrong in our polity, in our economy, in our society, we have to ensure that not a single child is left out,” he told Reuters.

(Writing by Rupam Jain; Editing by Stephen Coates)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending