Yes, I'd be happy to give you a general narrative on the economy.
More broadly speaking, I think, starting with the global economic perspective, 2019 was a bit of a rough year. It was the slowest growth clip in the global economy in the last 10 years, since the end of the great financial crisis, and it was coming off some highs in 2017 and 2018. There was a deceleration in the global economy. Some of that was just cyclical. There was a lot of stimulus in the global economy in 2017 and 2018 from things that we know, like the Trump tax cuts and a lot of monetary easing that took place over that time. That faded, so 2019 was a slowing year. Obviously, some of that weakness spilled over into the Canadian economy. Growth in Canada for 2019 is expected to come in at probably just below 2%. Compared with 2017 and 2018, there was a deceleration in growth.
That said, employment held up quite tremendously. Job creation in 2019 was very strong, averaging in and around 40,000 jobs per month. Wage growth did pick up to north of 3%, which was a good and encouraging sign. The composition of job growth was pretty good: it was concentrated in the private sector and pretty broadly based across various sectors.
That said, looking forward into 2019 and more specifically into the fourth quarter of 2019, for which we expect results at the end of February, there was some choppiness at the end of 2019. I think some of that weakness will probably spill over into 2020. Again, some of it was cyclical—things like CN Rail strikes, GM strikes and some intermittent shutdowns along the energy production cycle. Overall, the labour market is pretty strong, with low levels of unemployment and, as I said, wage growth picking up, and that's encouraging.
Looking forward to 2020, I think that growth in and around Canada's potential, which is dictated by productivity and labour supply, will probably be in and around that 2% mark, which is kind of the consensus view among most economists around the country.
Obviously, some risks include things like what we are experiencing now: the coronavirus and the containment of that shock and how it's expected to spill over into the global economy and into Canada. Geopolitical risks seem to be fading a bit. We're very encouraged, obviously, with the signing of the most recent trade deal between the U.S. and China and the dissipating effects from the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and some of the EU uncertainties.
Overall, I think it's steady as she goes, and we'll see how it plays out over the next couple of months.