Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has lowered his official economic outlook to an outright contraction next year.
Canada's gross domestic product will shrink 0.4 per cent in 2009, compared with a November estimate of growth of 0.5 per cent, Mr. Flaherty said Wednesday after a meeting with his provincial and territorial counterparts in Saskatoon.
The forecast is based on the average of 16 private sector forecasters. Canada's economy hasn't shrunk on an annual basis since the early 1990s.
You might have to use your long term memory here, but you may recall that when Flaherty came out with economic statement, way back at the end of November, there were cries that he ignored private forecasts, his numbers were junk. One example, which just happens to now be in line with Flaherty, the OECD report, released at the same time as the economic statement:
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) expects considerably slower growth for Canada: 0.5% in 2008, -0.5% in 2009 and 2.1% in 2010.
Now, all of sudden, Flaherty is basing his projections on private forecasts, which were available to him when he released his disingenuous update. I mention this, because Conservative apologists argue that events are unfolding so fast, one needs to constantly re access (we've heard this since the election, as the Conservatives have continually tripped over their rhetoric from week to week). The simple fact, that everyone needs to remember, Flaherty and Harper will well aware of the situation in late November, they were TOLD by private forecasters that their numbers were "too rosy", completely out of line with reality, and yet they presented Canadians with a dishonest assessment. Now, when they've been smoked out by the opposition and must come clean, we see these drastic revisions, so obscene in their scope, incompetence is a kind word.
As I mentioned elsewhere, first there was no recession, then a "technical" recession, then talk of possible depression. At this rate of catchup, Harper might be predicting the "end of days" by the weekend. One thing is clear, despite attempts to hide behind a real deterioration in recent weeks and months, there has been a DELIBERATE attempt to misrepresent the situation for political purposes. Wear it well, you deserve it.