Canada to see 1.7 pct yearly growth of economy for next 5 years

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-13 05:49:19|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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OTTAWA, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- Canada's economy is to see average annual 1.7 percent growth for next five years, according to CBC Friday.

CBC said it obtained an internal memo for Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau, which forecasts average annual growth of just 1.7 percent in 2018 through to 2022.

The Canadian economy has been improving for a year, averaging 3.7 percent growth, with the jobless rate recently hitting a record low of 5.9 percent.

"This very rapid pace of growth is not sustainable going forward as ... transitory factors start to wane and interest rates will likely continue rising," says the memo.

The memo, made three months ago, is generally in line with current forecasts by private-sector economists, who note slow growth in Canada's labour force because of an aging society, and the lack of business investment in equipment needed to boost labour productivity.

It says the Canadian government has options for goosing the economy, including policies to keep more older Canadians in the workforce; to boost the number of working women; and to open the doors to more immigrants.

The memo says increasing the labour force participation of women could boost annual GDP to as much as 1.9 percent over the medium term.

Morneau has confirmed to CBC News that Budget 2018 will have programs and policies to encourage more women workers, including providing better child-care options.

The government announced last November that annual immigration levels will rise from 300,000 in 2017 to 340,000 in 2020, to help offset Canada's aging demographic.

The memo says adding 15,000 skilled immigrants each year could add one-tenth of a percentage point each year to Canada's GDP growth, but it cautions "there is no silver bullet solution to raising Canada's productivity growth."