On November 20, 2014 we hosted our annual AWF Economic Update Event. The event was held at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and there were over 150 men and women in attendance. Thanks to all our supporters, the AWF community, and our sponsor RBC Wealth Management the event was a huge success.
After a year defined by falling commodity prices, a weak Canadian dollar, continued unease in the EU, and a growing US economy, there was much to discuss. Networking prior to lunch was filled with conversation related to these issues. Guests were eager to get an overview on how the Canadian economy will be impacted. Our panelists did not disappoint.
Speaker panelists included:
Jock Finlayson: Executive Vice President, Business Council of British Columbia.
Jim Allworth: Investment Strategist and Co-Chair of RBC Dominion Securities’ Global Portfolio Advisory Committee.
Jill Leverage: Managing Director, Highland West Capital.
Overall the panel had a mixed tone regarding the outlook for 2015. Each panelist had a slightly different view but shared caution on future growth.
BC is slowly proceeding with the initial planning of major LNG projects. This is expected to stimulate job creation and regional economic activity. On the other hand, the Northern Gateway Pipeline faces significant challenges given recent court decisions and strong public opposition.
On a national level, we continue to see falling oil prices which could have a major impact on the Alberta Oil Sands. Albeit, the weaker Canadian Dollar and lower cost of fuel is expected to stimulate Southern Ontario and Quebec’s manufacturing sector. These movements in markets create challenges in some sectors, but will produce opportunities in others.
From a global perspective, there are numerous areas of uncertainty being a cause for concern. The Euro Zone is stagnant, China reports slower growth, and political threats in the Middle East continue to worsen. However, the US economy is gaining momentum creating a positive outlook for Canada. The US is Canada’s largest trading partner, and the opportunities presented by this growth are expected to soften shifts in other global markets.