Key Takeaways from TD Economic Update

On October 27th the Whitby Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Whitby hosted its fifth annual TD Economic Update where Mr. Derek Burleton, Deputy Chief Economist at TD Bank, provided a thorough and valuable assessment of the global, United States (US), and Canadian economies. Here are my (an economics laymen) takeaways from his presentation.

General Trends

  • Experts did not expect inflation to rise as high and as quickly as it did.
  • A short-term 6-12 month cyclical downtown is forecasted and not expected to be a long-term trend.
  • Inflation is expected to decline and will impact the congestions and delays the supply-chain markets have been experiencing; however, it will have less of an impact on the cost of services and housing. We’re still early in this process, and the projections may adapt. (Federal Economic Update released November 3rd sheds more light)


  • Russian tied economies have hit the United Kingdom (UK) most substantially (e.g. cost of fuel) than others.
  • UK deficit did not support the government’s original plan for tax cuts. (Now the UK appears to be adjusting that plan and is under a new government.)
  • China’s COVID-19 lock downs have continued to impact supply-chains and associated costs.
  • US GDP grew at an annual rate of over 2% in the 3rd quarter of 2022 (compared to -0.6 in the second quarter), so while there is a comparative slow down in the economy, it has not reached recession levels.
  • In the 2022 third quarter, US employers were still hiring, and economists did not see the lay-offs many had projected. (This may be shifting in the 4th quarter as companies see more impact on their bottom line.)
  • Developing countries have been more stable than developed through the economic downturn.
  • TD predicts that many European countries are likely already in a recession, i.e. UK, Germany, Italy and Austria; the US, Spain, and France are not, however, remain on his watch list.


  • Signs show that Canada’s economy is lagging on the recession cycle. This may change considering the large (usually mortgage) debts Canadians are carrying which will eventually be up for renewal.
  • Canada’s debt burden is not as high as it was in 2007, which is a good sign against recession.
  • The US dollar has remained high, which has a direct impact on Canada’s GDP and may be cushioning Canada’s economy from a recession.
  • Thus far, Canada has not experienced mass layoff. The unemployment rate, which stood at 5.2% in October 2022, is projected to rise to about 6.5% through 2023 and 2024.
  • After large interest rate hikes this year, the Bank of Canada is projected to pivot towards smaller hikes from December 2022 to “soften the blow”. This forecast is substantiated by the lower-than-expected rate hike by the Bank of Canada in October 2022. It’s also predicted that the interest rate will be cut ~2% in 2024.
  • As demand falls, housing prices are expected to stabilize in the third quarter of 2023 with the GTA market is the most vulnerable; this may be the housing market correcting. We are already seeing a tapering in the renovations and construction sector as people tighten their wallets.
  • The government’s position on immigration and its impact on populations will greatly affect the housing narrative.
  • It’s predicted that dollar will continue to go down, about 0.75%, but a stable currency is essential to avoid a recession.
  • As often seen in times of inflation, return on bonds is higher than usual.
  • TD predicts about 2 sluggish years in Canada’s future, but with a growth trajectory.

What’s the expert’s advice to keep things under control and recession averse?

  • Wages need to moderate as they impact buying power and inflation.
  • Government’s dedication to do no harm and their thoughtful and informed response will guide Canada’s success.

As we move through these tough times, I’m keen to see how accurate these projections turn out to be; but one this is clear, the decisions Canadians make now define the next few years of our economy.

Thank you to at Town of Whitby, I learned a lot about this amazing town, it’s economic strategies and why people choose to live, work and play in Whitby.  And thank you to our breakfast sponsor Mason Bennet Johncox!

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