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1,000 Attendees Make Predictions at CFA Society Toronto's 56th Annual Forecast Dinner

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TORONTO, Oct. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an unprecedented addition to CFA Society Toronto's 56th Annual Forecast Dinner, 1,000 attendees made predictions about the global market and the future of Toronto's city leadership via automated polling devices.

Toronto area investment professionals and their guests attended the October 1st marquee event where speakers Martin H. Barnes, A. Gary Shilling and Barry L. Ritholtz shared their outlooks for the global economy, international markets and politics alongside the audience. The night trended toward slow growth predictions over the next five years.

Economic Outlook for North America:

Martin Barnes, chief economist at BCA Research, summarized "My bottom line on the economic outlook is that you'll feel better in a year's time, but you still won't feel great," he says. "We could get back to 3% [growth] in North America without too much difficulty."

93% of those surveyed believed GDP growth in the US would be positive but unexciting, less than 4% think we're in for a positive surprise with a significant acceleration in the upcoming year.

Shilling predicted a strengthening of the US dollar, as did over 55% of the audience. Mid-career analysts thought that flat US markets would bore you to death in 2014,however 67% predicted an increase in the value of the US dollar which would be helpful for Canadian investors.

Housing prices in Canada for next year:

47% of audience members predicted that housing prices are somewhat overvalued; will drop 5-15%, whereas 28% felt housing prices were priced right and will not drop or gain.

53% of the audience agreed voting that the US and subsequently the Canadian economies are likely to underwhelm but remain in positive territory. An additional 40% felt the economies will remain just fine, but unexciting.

Trade Weighted US Dollar Index:

Barnes indicated the loonie could get back to parity based on strong commodity prices in his forecast.

Interest Rates:

The sentiment of Shilling and Barnes was mirrored by attendees in their interpretations of unmoving interest rates for the coming year. Over 36% of those surveyed felt that interest rates are in the right spot – and unlikely to rise meaningfully in the next year, 34% felt they were too low, but the return to historical norms will be orderly. Less than 6% felt that they were too high and should be lowered.

Toronto Politics:

If the Toronto Municipal election were today audience members would be voting for John Tory with 35% support. Rob Ford fell second with 25% whereas Olivia Chow would come in third with 19% of votes.

The Validity of Forecasting:

Although Ritholtz did not make specific forecasts his presentation challenged the earlier forecasts, highlighting the belief that humans are inherently not programmed to make accurate forecasts.

For an extensive breakdown of survey results please email media@cfatoronto.ca

The views expressed in the above-mentioned do not reflect the views of CFA Society Toronto.

About CFA Society Toronto

CFA Society Toronto supports the professional and business development of more than 8,000 CFA charterholders in Toronto, making it the second largest CFA Society in the world. It provides members with a local perspective on a global designation, including: educational programs, sponsored events, job postings, quarterly newsletters, a comprehensive affinity program and networking opportunities. A not-for-profit organization, CFA Society Toronto is affiliated with CFA Institute, the global body that administers the Chartered Financial Analyst curriculum and sets voluntary, ethics-based performance-reporting standards for the investment industry. CFA Society Toronto's members are leaders in ethics in the financial community. For more information, please refer to www.cfatoronto.ca.

CONTACT: Sara Pacella, Manager, External Communications & Media CFA Society Toronto Tel: 416-366-5755 X 235 media@cfatoronto.ca

Source:CFA Society of Toronto