The latest indicators show the world economy off to a robust start in 2010 and point to continuing vigour. Beijing has begun to rein in Chinese credit expansion in response to surprisingly strong growth and soaring imports and exports.
Despite a disappointing December employment report, the U.S. economy is headed in the right direction. Consumers have entered a virtuous circle of deleveraging, in which a savings rate in the neighbourhood of 5% allows growth in consumer spending in tandem with reduction of household debt. We continue to expect U.S. growth of 3.4% in 2010.
Canada is well ahead of the U.S. in the recovery of its labour market. Jobs in services rose to an all-time high in December and the aggregate wage bill showed strong growth in Q4, confirming that domestic demand will have legs. We are raising our forecast of Canadian growth to 3.1% in 2010.
This presentation may contain certain forward-looking statements about the 2009 Economic and Financial Outlook. Such statements are subject to risk and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially due to a variety of factors, including legislative or regulatory developments, competition, technological change and economic conditions in Canada, North America or internationally. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not rely unduly on National Bank of Canada’s forward-looking statements. This presentation may not be reproduced in whole or in part, or further distributed or published or referred to in any manner whatsoever, nor may the information, opinions or conclusions contained in it be referred to without in each case the prior express consent of National Bank.