This week, I attended the 39th Annual Outlook 2016 forecast luncheon – an annual event hosted by the Canadian Club and National Post which features an expert panel discussion on the economy, the markets and political issues that will affect Canadians in the year ahead.
The panel was moderated by the witty Bruce Sellery this year (Personal Finance Columnist for MoneySense Magazine and contributor to CBC TV's "The Exchange"), and featured:
Terence Corcoran - Financial Post Comment and Magazine Editor, National Post
Andrew Coyne - National Columnist, Postmedia
Diane Francis - Financial Post Editor-at-Large, National Post
Warren Jestin - Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Scotiabank
Amanda Lang - Business Journalist and Author
Bruce started the luncheon off by asking each of the panelists for their boldest prediction for 2016 – and I jotted them down, just for you:
Amanda Lang said: Oil will close above $70 by the end of this year.
Warren Jestin said: Canada will continue to have a bad year.
Terence Corcoran said: The Republicans will win the Presidency. Trump has a good chance because of his broad platform but if it’s a brokered convention, Rubio will be the candidate to win it.
Diane Francis said: The democrats will win the US election.
Andrew Coyne said: Clinton is certain to be the democratic leader. Trump will not win the Republican nomination, but even if he does, he will not win the Presidential election.
To add to the “fun”, they ask all of us to fill out our own prediction for the year, and this year we were asked to predict where we think our Canadian dollar will close, relative to the USD. While we’re supposed to keep our predictions a secret, I sat next to a very smart and fascinating woman during the lunch and we shared predictions only to find that we were a penny apart at 68 cents (me) and 69 cents.
The rest of the panel was an interesting and educational hour of economic and political banter; each response beginning with the sentence “well, I don’t know for sure, but….” and while nothing is for certain, the turbulence this week gave us much more to talk about as market sentiment heightened over weakness in China, the commodity sell-off and the fed tightening.
Needless to say, the correction that began last summer may have been in hibernation for a while, but once again appears to be rearing its ugly head. We continue to believe that while this bumpy road may have some months left to run, the secular bull market that began in 2009 remains in place.