Canada finance minister says central bank chief 'more bullish'

Canada's Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (C) takes part in a news conference with Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa (R) and British Columbia Finance Minister Mike de Jong after signing an agreement to set up a cooperative capital markets regulator, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday the country’s central bank governor is more bullish than he is, but that they both agree the once-overheated housing market is in now in better shape.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz struck an upbeat note in a speech on Wednesday, saying the country’s economy is at a “tipping point,” heading toward stronger growth powered by business investment and exports.

Asked in an interview with CTV television whether he shared those views, Flaherty said: “I’m a little more cautious. I think he’s a bit more bullish than I am.”

Flaherty quickly added that he and Poloz, the country’s top two financial policymakers, generally agreed on key issues such as the housing market and the state of the economic recovery in the United States, Canada’s top export market.

“But I think he’s right. The housing market is in relatively good shape, and I think that’s a good thing,” Flaherty said.

“We do need businesses to invest more and they have a lot of capital. The good news is the American economy looks like it has a true recovery and that will be very good for Canada.”

Flaherty said he was not surprised by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision not to reduce its bond-purchasing program.

Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Leslie Adler