Canada recovering with growing optimism, PM says

Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:29am EST
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper adopted a more upbeat tone than usual when discussing the economy on Thursday, saying the nation was recovering with a growing sense of optimism.

Harper -- who reiterated that unemployment was still too high -- has until now cautioned that it is far too soon to say a proper recovery is at hand.

"Today, we are emerging from the global recession. Our domestic demand is strong. But our export markets remain uncertain and so we are recovering slowly, though with a growing sense of optimism," he told Parliament.

The minority Conservative government last week unveiled a budget which it said was designed to start cutting a record deficit of C$53.8 billion ($52.2 billion).

Harper said Canada would emerge from the recession in the strongest position of any major developed economy.

Yet he said it was too early to declare success and relax, adding there "were still too many possible potholes in the road ahead".

($1=$1.03 Canadian)

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)

<p>Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 9, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>