A new forecast from the federal export agency predicts Canada's economy is on the threshold of stronger growth thanks to a long-awaited recovery in the export sector.
Export Development Canada says renewed strength in the United States and in emerging markets, along with a lower loonie, will trigger a rebound in the lagging export sector, particularly in automobiles, building materials and appliances.
EDC chief economist Peter Hall says the volume of shipments will likely start taking off in the second half of this year and expand to 5.8 per cent growth in 2015.
Hall says the pickup in exports might have happened sooner but for the U.S. government shutdown in October and the unusually harsh weather throughout the winter, which accounts for the EDC's expectation of a modest 2.5 per cent growth in exports this year.
Hall said going forward, global and U.S. demand will be there, adding that his major worry is whether Canadian exporters and manufactures have the capacity to ramp up production and shipments.
Exports and the manufacturing sector remain the only significant segments of the Canadian economy that still have not fully recovered from the recession.