October 14, 2014 / 3:53 PM / in 3 years

Canada sees U.S. largely buffering European threat to economy

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz (L) and Canada's Minister of Finance Joe Oliver hold a news conference after a meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors during the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Washington October 10, 2014. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

TORONTO (Reuters) - Weak growth in Europe and possible deflation there are a threat to Canada’s economic outlook, but the danger is offset to some extent by what looks like sustainable growth in the United States, Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver said on Tuesday.

Oliver was speaking to reporters after meeting private-sector economists ahead of his autumn fiscal update. He said the economists were comfortable with their previous forecasts for economic growth.

The finance minister also said he sees no housing bubble in Canada and that he did not expect any big changes in the market, but that he stands ready to act if necessary.

“There is a dual market. Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary have seen price increases that the rest of the country have not. This is something that we are of course monitoring; we take this issue seriously,” he told reporters.

“We’ve taken quite a number of steps in regard to the residential mortgage market and have taken the froth, we believe, out of the market.”

Oliver said if there were need for some modest further changes the Conservative government would undertake them, but that he sees no dramatic moves ahead.

“We have a long-term objective of reducing the government’s role in the mortgage market and we’re continuing to move in that direction as well,” he said.

Oliver reiterated that the government was on track to deliver both a budget surplus and promised tax cuts next year.

Additional reporting by Alastair Sharp; Writing by Randall Palmer; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jeffrey Hodgson and Peter Galloway

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