Finance minister Joe Oliver told reporters Tuesday that Canada is in a period of slow growth rather than contraction. Although many analysts are already calling for a recession, Mr Oliver was positive and said that he expected growth in the second half of the year and that the government will still deliver a budgetary surplus. GDP figures at the end of July will shine more light on the numbers but the finance minister, with an election looming, was keen to avoid talk of recession and remain upbeat. Douglas Porter of mortgage lender BMO is more cautious. He told The Financial Post that there is a good chance that the second quarter overall was negative: “Even if we had a miraculous turnaround in June, it probably wouldn’t be enough to save the quarter if May is again quite weak.” The April figure showed a 0.1 per cent decline. 

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