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Good news for Sudbury in 2024, rest of Canada will struggle: economist

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There is good news and bad news for the Canadian economy next year.

While visiting Sudbury on Thursday, a chief economist provided an outlook for 2024. Stephen Tapp did not deliver the uplifting news many wanted to hear, but there was hope.

The chief economist with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce said a slower economy and high inflation will continue for a little while longer.

“We do think it’s going to be tough and slow and choppy for the first half of the year,” Tapp said.

“Having said that, as we do see interest rates coming down, they’ll provide a little bit of relief for everyday households and businesses. And so I do expect 2024 to end better than it starts.”

Despite the mediocre news for the country, Tapp had better news for Sudbury.

Based on specific data, he said Sudburians can expect a better local outlook, mainly due to employers hiring and consumer spending.

“We track 21 different cities — Sudbury is third in terms of the overall spending patterns,” Tapp said.

“So as the overall economy is slowing down, people in Sudbury are still spending. The wallets are still out there.”

Geoffrey Hatton, chair of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, said that data tracks with what business owners are telling him.

Hatton is hoping 2024 comes with stability.

“I don’t think you’ll be able to predict exactly what’s going to come, but I think everything we’ve seen so far is promising in regards to interest rates and things like that,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll just get some more predictability which has been lacking over the past few years … That’s something that businesses are always looking for is predictability.”

The outlook also highlighted how the need for critical minerals will continue to impact the economy.

That’s more good news for Sudbury, which will supply many of those resources. 

Correction

The last name for Canadian Chamber of Commerce chief economist Stephen Tapp has been corrected in the above article.

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