There has been an optimistic tone from some of Canada’s economists so far this week. A report from The Business Cycle Council, part of CD Howe, says that Canada is not in recession because the usual indicators of a recession are not evident. Many analysts have decided that the economy is in recession as there has been decline in two straight quarters, although that is based on just one month of Q2 plus expectation of a weak May (figures come out Friday). However the seven economists of the Business Cycle Council have a more complex definition: "a pronounced, pervasive and persistent decline in aggregate economic activity.”

Meanwhile the chief economist of mortgage lender ATB Financial, Todd Hirsch, says that data on Alberta’s finances contrast with the sensational headlines which talk of catastrophe and crisis. Writing in the Globe and Mail he highlights that retail sales are 3.2 per cent higher year-over-year; housing starts have held steady; interprovincial migration has also remained fairly constant; manufacturing has held up well; and employment has increased. He concludes that it will be a tough year for Alberta and there may be some tougher conditions ahead, but that for now the figures paint a slightly less gloomy picture than some would like us to believe. 

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