"There's an old joke about the pessimistic economist: He's predicted seven of the last two recessions", jokes CKOM host John Gormley. On Tuesday, he interviewed MLI Senior Fellow Philip Cross about conflicting reports of whether Canada is in recession, and what lies ahead.
Declaring when the country is in recession "certainly is an art", notes Cross. "We look at output and employment ... if the decline in output isn't severe enough for firms to start cutting back on employment, it's probably not severe enough to cause a recession". He says that while it appears there has been a slight decline in GDP in the first part of the year, firms are still hiring. "That tells me that it's unlikely that this is a recession", said Cross. He also points out that from his past experience as Chief Economist at Statistics Canada, "you can't tell the difference between an economy shrinking .1 percent and growing .1 percent."
Cross also noted that the downturn hasn't been felt in many parts of the country, another reason to hold off on declaring the country is in recession.
For the rest of this engaging and informative interview click here.