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May 22, 2015

Canada April inflation at 0.8 pct, smallest gain in 1-1/2 yrs

OTTAWA, May 22 (Reuters) – Canada’s annual inflation rate
cooled to 0.8 percent in April, making for the smallest increase
since October 2013 as energy prices tumbled, though economists
did not see it altering the course of monetary policy for now.

A separate report by Statistics Canada Friday showed retail
sales climbed for a second month in a row in March, as consumers
spent more on cars, food and alcohol.

May 13, 2015

Canada seen as unlikely to tamper with inflation target during review

OTTAWA, May 13 (Reuters) – Canadian financial authorities
are unlikely to raise the country’s inflation target after a
review this year given the risk to the central bank’s
credibility and widespread support for the existing benchmark,
economists say.

The Bank of Canada, which reviews the target every five
years, flagged in November that it was researching whether to
raise the target above 2 percent, given the difficulties of
conducting monetary policy with interest rates near zero.

May 8, 2015

Alberta’s April job gains seen as anomaly; more weakness expected

OTTAWA, May 8 (Reuters) – Strong job gains in Alberta in
April were likely an anomaly, possibly influenced by hiring
related to the Western Canadian province’s May 5 election, and
economists predicted more weakness in coming months due to
relatively low oil prices.

Alberta added 12,500 jobs in April on strength in the
service sector as natural resources jobs declined, data from
Statistics Canada showed on Friday.

Apr 30, 2015

Canada economy stalls in February, but stronger than foreseen

OTTAWA, April 30 (Reuters) – The Canadian economy stalled in
February as a pickup in the retail sector was offset by a
decline in manufacturing and a steep drop in support activity
for the mining and energy sectors, data showed on Thursday.

The country’s gross domestic product was unchanged in
February from the month before, Statistics Canada said, though
that topped economists’ expectations for a decline of 0.1
percent. January was revised down to a decline of 0.2 percent.

Apr 28, 2015

Bank of Canada’s Poloz shrugs off Carney comparison

OTTAWA, April 28 (Reuters) – Bank of Canada Governor Stephen
Poloz defended himself against criticism on Tuesday that his
surprise January rate cut unduly shocked markets and for failing
to use measured language like his predecessor, current Bank of
England chief Mark Carney.

Poloz also said the negative effects from the oil price
shock would last longer than three or four months, but would
begin to be “overwhelmed” after the first quarter by renewed
exports and other positives.

Apr 22, 2015

Populist Conservative budget puts Canada’s Liberals in election squeeze

OTTAWA, April 22 (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper, facing a battle to win reelection to a rare fourth term
in October, has boosted his chances with a populist budget
expected to energize his base.

The tax breaks in the budget the Conservative government
delivered on Tuesday, plus the cold hard cash it will give to
every family with children starting in July, put pressure on
Harper’s main opponent, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, to spell
out an economic agenda with just as much vote-getting appeal.

Apr 22, 2015

Canada growth pickup to fall short of Bank of Canada forecast: Reuters poll

BENGALURU/OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian economic growth will accelerate in the second half of the year but probably not as much as the Bank of Canada expects, suggesting it may be too soon to rule out another interest rate cut, a Reuters poll found.

The survey of over 40 economists showed Canada’s economy will grow 2.0 percent this year and 2.2 percent the next, down from the 2.4 and 2.3 percent forecast in January.

Apr 21, 2015

With eye on election, Canada Conservatives balance budget with asset sales

OTTAWA, April 21 (Reuters) – Canada’s Conservative
government, seeking reelection this year, delivered a federal
budget on Tuesday that promised a slim surplus despite the oil
price crash, while offering goodies to seniors and small
businesses and boosting security spending.

It will mark Canada’s first surplus in eight years,
accomplished with the help of the sale of assets including
General Motors shares. The government also cut some of
the cushion set aside for economic shocks.

Apr 17, 2015

Canada inflation, retail sales suggest central bank on hold

OTTAWA, April 17 (Reuters) – Canadian retail sales racked up
their biggest increase in eight months in February, while
inflation unexpectedly rose last month, casting cold water on
the likelihood of the central bank cutting interest rates again
in the near future.

Data from Statistics Canada on Friday showed retail sales
rose 1.7 percent, handily topping economists’ expectations for
an increase of 0.5 percent and ending two consecutive months of

Apr 15, 2015

Bank of Canada holds rates, sees rebound after oil shock

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate steady on Wednesday, saying the economy will pick up as non-energy exports and labor markets strengthen even though the oil price crash probably cut economic growth to zero in the first quarter.

A considerable easing in financial conditions largely due to the bank’s surprise interest rate cut in January, together with improving U.S. demand, will bolster the transition of Canada’s oil-heavy economy to non-energy exports, investment and a stronger jobs market, the bank said.