Why Conservatives crow about Harper’s economic stewardship

- October 8th, 2012

Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any Canadian prime minister who had it as good as Stephen Harper did on their first day in office when it came to the state of the federal government’s finances. In the winter of 2006, the Canadian economy was doing well and the government’s coffers were overflowing with surpluses.

The world has considerably changed since 2006, of course, and now, the opposition narrative is something along the lines of “Harper has squandered the good fortune given him and run up the country’s biggest ever deficits.”

Selected Advanced Economies Real OutputAnd yet, by accident or design, on one of the most basic measures of a government’s economic stewardship — economic growth as measured by changes in the gross domestic product (GDP) — the Harper government has done very well compared to Canada’s peers in the community of “advanced economies”. Don’t take my word for it: That’s the verdict of the International Monetary Fund which illustrates that point nicely on page 69 of its most recent Global Economic Outlook. (left)

Now, the IMF has cut the outlook for Canada’s GDP growth over the next two years. For 2012, the IMF now believes Canada’s economy will grow by 1.9 per cent (a really humming-along year sees growth close to 3 per cent), a rate of growth that will only be bested by the U.S. and Japan, which are expected to grow at 2.2 per cent, among the world’s major advanced economies. (Major Advanced economies = Canada, U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom).

in 2013, Canada’s growth will be slightly slower than the IMF expected last July but growth is forecast at 2.0% and only the U.S. is expected to do better 2.1%.

In any event, regardless of the domestic sniping Harper takes from his political opponents over his government’s ecnonomic stewardship, this is the graph that is largely behind any Conservative crowing you hear.

 

Categories: Economy

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1 comment

  1. G&M: If Steve Harper’s an economist, I’m the Queen of Sheba.

    The ammunition to bury the Conservatives is overwhelming. Yet a majority of Canadians still don’t see it.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/second-reading/gerald-caplan/if-steve-harpers-an-economist-im-the-queen-of-sheba/article1769401/

    ………………

    repost from microbe 3:12 PM on April 28, 2011

    Before you accept the G&M’s endorsement of Harper and the Tories as “good economic stewards”, read this short article:

    http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/progressive-economics-forum/2011/04/stephen-harpers-economic-record-best-show

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