Finance Minister Joe Oliver says too early to say whether we’re in recession

The Canadian Press / Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press / Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER – Finance Minister Joe Oliver says it’s too early to tell if Canada’s economy has slumped into a recession.

Oliver says the country is well positioned to weather an economic battering but it is in a fragile environment with external factors like the price of oil and economic troubles in Europe.

He says the fact that American growth was down in the first quarter also undermines confidence for Canadian companies based on export potential.

The TD Bank said on Monday that Canada was likely in a recession in the first half of the year and it predicted that the Bank of Canada would cut its key interest rates next week.

In a speech to a crowd earlier at the Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Vancouver, Oliver said Canada must stay the economic course so as not to follow Greece.

He said he has faith that Europe will be able to sort itself out over the debt crisis in Greece.