Economic outlook: The mood of a nation

Businesses in Eastern, Central and Western Canada share economic worries.

The big picture will help you understand things only so much. Sometimes to figure out how businesses are coping with today’s economic conditions, you just have to ask them. That’s why Canadian Business staff writer Joe Castaldo recently visited seven cities from coast to coast in a weeklong blitz.

As diverse as Canada is, businesses are dealing with many of the same issues: the high loonie, labour shortages, and the drag of the U.S. economy. Sure, there’s lots of talk about our economy distancing itself from its troubled American counterpart. But the businesses in Eastern, Central and Western Canada, ranging from farming and development to high tech and forestry, are all affected by what happens in the U.S.

The stories here are certainly not meant to be a definitive statement on the Canadian economy, but rather a snapshot of the challenges businesses are facing as recession looms. And though generalizing isn’t always helpful, in this case it’s safe to say a lot of people are worried.