2023 TD Economic Update – Reflections on our Economic Times

On October 17th WCC hosted its sixth annual TD Economic Update and again, Mr. Derek Burleton, Deputy Chief Economist at TD Bank, provided an informative presentation of the global and Canadian economies. Here are my (an economics laymen) takeaways from his presentation.

General Trends

  • The general consensus is that growth is expected to continue into 2023, while recession risks are projected for 2024.
  • While growth continues, long term productivity gains are expected to slim.
  • Contrary to last year’s projections, interest rates in Canada have remained high, and inflation has not dropped to the extent expected.


  • In April, 40 institutions called for a recession this year, that’s now down to 24; however, in April, 3 institutions predicted a recession in 2024, and now 8 predict it.
  • The expected economic “soft landing” is expected to benefit the US. However, the financial conditions in the US are tighter than their policy rate may imply.
  • In contrast, the Euro Zone, impacted by the Russian war has resulting energy shock, and a severe challenge to their economy. Household budgets are dented as a result.
  • In the Euro Zone, tepid growth is expected with a flat GDP growth rate profile until at least 2024.
  • For China, while experts expected more momentum after their re-opening at the end of 2022, this did not occur. Growth moving forward – at least through the end of 2023 is projected to be below trend (4%-ish q/q SAAR). China is expected to grow, which will bring average wages up.
  • As a result of China’s production loss, America has benefitted by filling the void. US manufacturing (specifically in the computer, electrical, and electronic industries) investments have revived despite high interest rates.


  • Compared to US statistics, Canada’s probability of a recession is lower; however, Canada’s stats are offset by the increased population (1 million) over the past 2 years, bolstering the economy more than previous years averages.
  • Canada is not expected to see strong growth over the next year as debt servicing costs remain high.
  • Canadians savings rates are also higher than pre=pandemic levels, but this may change as more mortgage payments rise.
  • It is expected that 65% of Canada’s mortgages will be up for renewal by 2026, which will increase costs for mortgage holders who are on a fixed rate mortgage, brining forth a “mortgage renewal shock”.
  • The Bank of Canada has held interest rates in recent months, but this does not mean that interest rates will be cut any time soon. Our expert predicts that interest rates may be on an extended pause at their current rates.
  • Due to the tightening economy, the unemployment rate is expected to rise to 6.7% by the end of 2024.
  • Despite the current economic environment, on-residential investors in Canada are increasing.

As we move through these tough times, it’s illuminating to see how quickly things change and impact our bottom lines; but one thing is clear, the financial decisions Canadians make now define the next few years of our economy.

– Preeti Sangwan, Policy and Advocacy Advisor, Whitby Chamber of Commerce