April 13, 2016

Bank of Canada Cautious About the Outlook

To no one’s surprise, the Bank of Canada left its target overnight rate unchanged at 1/2 percent. The Bank, however, reduced its forecast for the global economy and for the U.S. economy as well, suggesting that the outlook for Canadian exports is less favorable than earlier forecast. (Table 1 below shows the Bank’s current global…

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April 8, 2016

Canada’s Jobs Report Dwarfs Forecasts

Following three months of little job growth, economists expected to see a modest 5,000 increase in employment in March. The jobless rate was forecast to hold steady at 7.3%, matching the highest level in over 3 years. Surprise! March came in like a lion, with employment up 41,000 (+0.2%)–the strongest reading in five months. This…

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April 1, 2016

Oil’s Death Nell Without Pipeline

Canada Has Only One Customer for Oil…And It’s Not Buying Canadian oil is landlocked. We have only one customer–the U.S.–and that customer is now producing more oil than it needs. What’s more, the U.S. considers Canadian oil to be dirty oil and, therefore, would prefer not to import it. Hence the downfall of the Keystone…

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March 22, 2016

Budget 2016—Billed As ‘Growing the Middle Class’

Today’s budget included everything I expected and nothing that I feared. The fears first—there is no change in the tax treatment of capital gains or stock options, despite continued rumours and speculation. Indeed, in a press conference in the lock-up, Minister Morneau said that stock options tax changes are off the table because they are…

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March 18, 2016

Glass ceilings are no match for financial maven Sherry Cooper

A happy accident marked the beginning of a stellar career for Sherry Cooper. Then a student at Goucher College in Baltimore, she took her first economics class because she needed to fill a slot in her study schedule. That choice opened the door to Sherry’s future as a leader in the field of finance. “It…

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March 9, 2016

Bank of Canada Maintains Rate At 1/2% Target

To no one’s surprise, the Bank of Canada announced today that it would leave its overnight rate target at 1/2%, just as it did on January 20 when it last met. The Bank noted that financial market volatility has slowed since the last meeting and oil prices and the Canadian dollar have strengthened. Consumer spending…

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March 1, 2016

Q4 Growth At 0.8% Boosts 2015 to Only 1.2%

Today’s stronger than expected fourth quarter GDP figure of 0.8% annualized growth did little to assuage concerns that the Canadian economy is growing well below potential. Many expected growth to be flat in the final quarter of last year. The growth figure released today by Statistics Canada was boosted by the biggest drop in imports…

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February 17, 2016

Diverging Housing Markets And BC Budget

Diverging Housing Markets Continue Data released earlier this week for January showed the stunning disparity in regional housing markets in Canada (see chart below). Vancouver remains the red-hot leader with year-over-year (y/y) price gains of 20.6% and home resales growth of an eye-popping 32.1%. In comparison, Toronto’s housing market seems almost tepid, with an annual…

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January 20, 2016

Bank Of Canada Does Not Cut Rates

In an evenly divided call by market analysts, the Bank of Canada maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1/2 percent. The Bank said that inflation prospects are largely as expected and that “the dynamics of the global economy are broadly as anticipated in the Bank’s October Monetary Policy Report (MPR).” Really?  Oil prices…

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January 15, 2016

Will The Bank of Canada Cut Rates Next Week?

Expectations of a Bank of Canada rate cut next week are mounting and for good reason. The Canadian economy is showing signs of considerable weakness and business investment plans have been cut. Oil prices continue to decline sharply and Iranian oil supply will be coming on stream shortly. Energy companies continue to slash payrolls and…

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