Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Future Is Bright, to Lead G7 in Growth in Next 50 Years: OECD

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Future Is Bright, to Lead G7 in Growth in Next 50 Years: OECD

Article excerpt

Canada to lead G7 in growth next 50 years


OTTAWA - The 21st century may not exactly belong to Canada, but according to a major world economic body the country is going to do pretty well.

In fact, the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development sees Canada among the world's leading economic lights over the next 50 years.

In issuing its long-term view of how it expects world economies to unfold, the OECD says Canada will continue to lead the Group of Seven industrialized economies in average annual growth over the next half century.

And it will also be near the top on a per-capita basis -- possibly a truer measure of success -- with only Japan sneaking ahead.

The economic research organization, which represents most of the world's biggest industrialized economies, predicts Canada's real gross domestic product will average 2.2 per cent growth in the next half century.

Of the other G7 nations, only the United States and the United Kingdom with 2.1 per cent average advances come close.

That doesn't mean Canada will beat all industrialized nations, however. Australia, New Zealand, Israel and Norway -- whose economies are too small for admittance to the G7 club -- are projected to experience even stronger average growth rates.

In part, Canada's superior growth rates are based on expectations that its labour force will continue to grow, although more slowly in the age of retiring baby boomers. Some countries, like Japan and Germany, are likely to experience outright contraction, which is why they do well on the per capita measure.

"For Canada, it's a fairly young population, fairly well-educated workforce and you have all these natural resources that give you higher growth than other countries," said Matthias Rumpf, a spokesman with the organization.

The OECD cautions that the projections should be taken with a grain of salt, given the extended timeline horizon, but Bank of Montreal economist Doug Porter says in some ways long-term forecasts are more reliable. Time tends to smooth out short-term shocks, he explains.

Porter said nothing in the OECD overviews strikes him as being unrealistic.

"I don't have a huge quarrel with the conclusion, I think we can or will likely lead the G7, but it'll be a horse race with the U. …

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