Boston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/11/2014 -- BMI forecasts Canadian real GDP growth to move just above the 2.2-2.3% long-term trend on average in 2014 and 2015, with expansion of 2.3% and 2.5% in those years, respectively. The ongoing theme for the Canadian economy is 'rebalancing', with growth in early 2013 attributed to improving net exports offsetting weakness in domestic demand (following a 2012 in which consumer spending and fixed investment provided the bulk of growth as net exports dragged). This improvement in exports provides welcome news to the Canadian shipping sector.
We believe that private consumption is set to remain below-trend for the next few years as Canadian households work off a large pile of accumulated debt. We are becoming somewhat concerned at the moribund performance of business investment, but expect an improvement in gross fixed capital formation going into 2014 and 2015, as the recovery in the US buoys corporate sentiment as well as external demand for Canadian exports going into 2014, necessitating further investment.
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The main driver of Canada's current account deficit is the trade in goods and services, which makes up just over two-thirds of the deficit. In Q213, the shortfall came in at CAD10.8bn, bringing the deficit to CAD17.8bn for the first half of the year. For the full year, we forecast that the trade and goods account will come in at a deficit of CAD31.1bn in 2013, which will mark a slight improvement from the CAD36.2bn shortfall in 2012. Data for the first seven months of the year show that export growth picked up in June and July, outstripping growth in imports, which will help narrow the deficit in the trade in goods and services.
In 2014, the tonnage throughput picture is mixed in Canada. The out performer in purely year-on-year (y-oy) terms is set to be the port of Prince Rupert (8.31%), while the port of St John is expected to see the smallest annual rise (0.56%).
Headline Industry Data
- 2014 Port of Vancouver tonnage throughput forecast to grow 6.0%. We project throughput to reach 176mn tonnes in 2018.
- 2014 Port of Vancouver container throughput forecast to grow 4.50% to reach 2.95mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). Over the medium term we project throughput to reach 3.69mn TEUs.
Key Industry Trends
Montreal To Handle Larger Vessels, Boost Throughput - The largest crude oil tanker to call at the port of Montreal in December 2013 is set to herald a trend of larger vessels calling at the port. This follows a decision in May 2013 by the Canadian Coast Guard to grant access to vessels of 44m width to enter the waterway that leads to the port of Montreal. The larger vessels now able to call at the port of Montreal will pose an upside risk to our tonnage throughput forecasts for the port.
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