Economists forecast stronger rebound

Finance minister is advised of higher GDP, lower jobless rate than previously expected

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty met with 15 private-sector economists in Ottawa on Tuesday as a part of his planning for the March 4 federal budget. The economists see a stronger GDP in the near term and a lower unemployment rate over the next five years than in a previous September forecast. Earlier in the day, Flaherty announced an increased forecast for growth for Canada, with a peak in 2011, at 3.2 per cent. He did not indicate whether the revisions will affect the expected $56 billion budget deficit.