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Crude sneezes, the economy catches cold

The benefits of diversification have long been preached by financiers and economists. Those countries too reliant on one industry naturally feel the pain of a limited portfolio. Canada is learning a stern lesson in overdependence

As if falling oil prices weren’t bad enough, a new fear is gripping Canada’s oil patch - contagion. Fallout from the faltering upstream is beginning to trickle down through other sectors of the economy, touching everything from manufacturing to oilfield services to finance and banking. Few have escaped the downturn. For the moment at least, the effects are most keenly felt in the oil-producing province of Alberta, where more than 100,000 directly related jobs have been lost in the petroleum sector alone. Cash-strapped oil companies have slashed as much as C$50bn ($37.44bn) in capital spending, and delayed more than C$100bn in new projects. But as the malaise drags on, the damage could spre

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