Canadian Manufacturing

Finance Minister Morneau seeking private-sector budget advice

Bill Morneau is today meeting with a group of private-sector economists to gather ideas for this year's budget



TORONTO—Finance Minister Bill Morneau will get some ideas for his upcoming budget today from private sector economists.

He will sit down with the experts in Toronto, something federal finance ministers routinely do.

One issue sure to be discussed is how Canada’s economy will be affected by the presidency of Donald Trump, who will be inaugurated next week.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld, who will be at today’s meeting, predicts the private-sector consensus to show that the Canadian economic outlook has improved somewhat since the fall.

But he says that assessment won’t account for any potential fallout for Canada from Trump’s promised economic policies, which include cutting corporate taxes and a border tax on imports.

Craig Alexander, the chief economist of The Conference Board of Canada, says Trump’s proposals create enough uncertainty that some kind of fiscal prudence would be appropriate in this year’s budget.

Some of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior aides have met recently with members of Trump’s inner circle.

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