Monthly Archives: August 2012

Looking for Growth in Lean Times? Look North to Canada!

There’s no getting around it, times are tough and we may still be in for more of these lean times for years to come. Every company is looking for that elusive source of growth to keep driving the top line, or at least to replace any shrinkage in business from the downturn.

But in difficult times growth can be a hard thing to find and merchants both online and offline need to be creative and on the lookout for any potential sources of new growth. For those in the United States still struggling to find growth in the aftermath of the real estate and banking meltdown I have one word which may be the answer and that is … CANADA!

Canada you say? What’s different about the situation north of the 49th parallel that might make it a growth opportunity for me? Well to borrow a phrase well worn south of the border the first answer is “It’s the economy stupid!” On whichever metric one compares, Unemployment, GDP, Inflation or Currency, Canada has fared better during this downturn. Relative to Unemployment, at the start of the downturn Canada and the US were both tracking an Unemployment rate of roughly 6% and since that time the spread has grown to 1.5% with roughly 9% in the US versus 7.5% in Canada. Looking at GDP, Canada and the US both went negative in 2008 and based on aggressive stimulus both returned to roughly 3% in 2011, however since that time there is about a 1% spread with Canada at 2.75% and US at 1.75%. Continue reading…