From a Canadian standpoint, the most important part of the speech was when M. Carney's discussed the different ways in which the net financial deficit of Canada's household sector can be eliminated. According to M. Carney, the deficit of the household sector could be eliminated through a combination of export growth, government spending and business investment.
But it is clear from the speech that M. Carney would prefer that Canada's business sector, which is currently running a significant net financial surplus, take a leading role in helping to stimulate the economy while households are seeking to reduce their level of debt. This approach may sound familiar to regular readers of this website. Here is the relevant excerpt of the speech:
To eliminate the household sector’s net financial deficit would leave a noticeable gap in the economy. Canadian households would need to reduce their net financing needs by about $37 billion per year, in aggregate. To compensate for such a reduction over two years could require an additional 3 percentage points of export growth, 4 percentage points of government spending growth or 7 percentage points of business investment growth.
Any of these, in isolation, would be a tall order. Export markets will remain challenging. Government cannot be expected to fill the gap on a sustained basis.
But Canadian companies, with their balance sheets in historically rude health, have the means to act—and the incentives. Canadian firms should recognize four realities: they are not as productive as they could be; they are under-exposed to fast-growing emerging markets; those in the commodity sector can expect relatively elevated prices for some time; and they can all benefit from one of the most resilient financial systems in the world. In a world where deleveraging holds back demand in our traditional foreign markets, the imperative is for Canadian companies to invest in improving their productivity and to access fast-growing emerging markets. (emphasis added)