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CIBC Says Economy Needs Low Interest Rates and Low Dollar

By Andrew Rickard | September 09 2014 08:35AM

CIBC World Markets says that if the Canadian economy is to continue to grow, it requires both low interest rates and a low Canadian dollar. If all goes well, the TSX Composite could post double-digit earnings growth next year.

In a report released on September 4, CIBC suggests that the forces that have propelled the Canadian economy thus far are not sustainable.

"Neither housing nor consumption funded from a falling savings rate can be the permanent drivers of growth, so all eyes will be on capital spending and exports," comments CIBC's chief economist Avery Shenfeld. "The market's response will be less about getting two and a half per cent growth to close the output gap, than about the policy backdrop needed to do so."

Although he expects both the US and Canadian economies to continue to improve, Mr. Shenfeld believes the two countries may take a different approach to monetary policy.

"We're not at zero [interest rates], so there's less urgency to begin dialing down the stimulus. But more critically, Bank of Canada Governor, Stephen Poloz wants growth led by exports and capital spending," he says. "There's no specific FX target, but a weaker Canadian dollar will be a key ingredient in restoring competitiveness and making Canada an attractive place to expand capacity."

As for what the immediate future may hold, Shenfield thinks corporate earnings still have room to move upwards and is forecasting TSX Composite earnings growth of 11% in 2015. “That's above the historical average,” he says. “Bond yields will provide some noisy volatility for stocks, but double digit earnings gains should still see major indexes close next year at moderately higher levels."

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