'We're going to get up to full speed this year,' Poloz says of global economy

Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz says he's optimistic that the striking weaknesses in international trade are not signs of a looming global recession.

In prepared remarks of a New York speech Tuesday, Poloz said trade growth has once again slowed dramatically after rebounding from its collapse caused by the 2008 financial crisis.

But he added that the slowdown in global exports does not signal impending trouble and is likely a result of the fact that big opportunities to boost global trade have already been largely exploited. As an example, he noted that China can only join the World Trade Organization once.

Poloz expressed confidence that most of the trade slump will be reversed as the global economy recovers — even if it's a slow process.

"The weakness in trade we've seen is not a warning of an impending recession," Poloz told a meeting of the Investment Industry Association of Canada and the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

"Rather, I see it as a sign that trade has reached a new balance point in the global economy — and one that we have the ability to nudge forward."

He said there's still room to boost global trade through efficiency improvements to international supply chains, the signing of major treaties such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the creation of brand new companies.

The most-promising source of trade and productivity growth could be the post-crisis emergence of new firms, which has so far been sluggish in Canada, he said.

"In a world full of anxiety, my goal today was to give investors one less thing to worry about," Poloz said.

Following his prepared remarks, Poloz had a question and answer session with the audience. When asked when he sees monetary policy returning to a period of normalization, Poloz replied that he thinks the global economy will return to sound footing some time in 2016.

"We're going to get up to full speed this year," he said.

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