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Sep 9, 2013

Canada cancels payroll tax increase as hiring slows

OTTAWA, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty canceled plans on Monday to increase a payroll tax in
a break for small businesses hurting from lingering economic
uncertainty, but the move is not expected to provide a big lift
to growth or jobs.

The employment insurance (EI) premium paid by both employers
and workers will be frozen at 2013 levels for 2014 and will not
be allowed to surpass that rate in 2015 and 2016, Flaherty said,
instead of rising every year as outlined in the government’s
March budget.

Sep 6, 2013

Canada may use satellites, not farmers, to measure crop size

WINNIPEG, Manitoba/OTTAWA, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Statistics
Canada may scrap one of its annual farmer surveys on crop yields
in favor of a report that uses satellite data to estimate
production.

Statscan, the national statistical agency, said the
satellite data was producing increasingly similar results to its
September farmer survey on yields of wheat, canola and other
crops, and the change would help meet cost-cutting goals.

Sep 6, 2013

Canada surprises with August job surge, trend still weak

OTTAWA, Sept 6 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy churned out a
surprising 59,200 jobs in August, according to Statistics
Canada estimates released on Friday, with most of the gains in
part-time work and led by the health care and social assistance
sector.

The unemployment rate edged down to 7.1 percent from 7.2
percent, the federal agency said.

Sep 4, 2013

Bank of Canada holds rates, signals no rush to follow Fed

OTTAWA, Sept 4 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada held its key
interest rate steady on Wednesday but signaled it has concerns
about global economic uncertainty and the health of the
country’s export sector, suggesting it is in no rush to follow
the U.S. Federal Reserve in altering monetary policy.

In a statement accompanying its widely expected rate
decision, the central bank repeated its vague tightening bias,
pointing to higher rates somewhere on the horizon. But it also
highlighted the slack in Canada’s economy and muted inflation,
and cited signs of improvement in household debt and in the
housing market, all of which suggested such a move is some way
off.

Aug 30, 2013

Canada growth slows in second quarter; June GDP shrinks

OTTAWA, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy shifted into
lower gear in the second quarter and contracted in June for the
first time in six months, hurt by a Quebec construction strike
and flooding in Alberta.

Gross domestic product grew by 1.7 percent on an annualized
basis in the quarter, Statistics Canada said on Friday, slowing
from 2.2 percent growth in the first quarter. Statscan revised
down the first-quarter number from 2.5 percent initially.

Aug 29, 2013

Bank of Canada seen hiking rates in fourth quarter of 2014: poll

By Louise Egan and Deepti Govind

(Reuters) – The Bank of Canada will likely keep interest rates at their current low level until the fourth quarter of 2014, according to economists in a Reuters poll, even though there are strong signs the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon start scaling back its stimulus measures.

As the Fed signals it will start reducing its $85 billion-a-month bond purchases in coming months and the U.S. and global economies show signs of firming, many analysts expect the Canadian dollar to weaken and foster a long-overdue export recovery.

Aug 27, 2013

Bank of Canada official counters fears on Fed tapering

KINGSTON, Ontario, Aug 27 (Reuters) – The eventual removal
by the U.S. Federal Reserve of its monetary policy stimulus
should be viewed positively, Bank of Canada Deputy Governor John
Murray said on Tuesday in a rebuttal to critics who expect Fed
tapering to reverberate negatively around the world.

Whenever the Fed begins winding down its unconventional
monetary policy, Murray said, it will take place in the context
of a strengthening U.S. economy, and the benefits for the
Canadian economy will outweigh any risks.

Aug 9, 2013

Public sector layoffs weigh on Canada job market in July

OTTAWA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Record job losses in the public
sector and scarce opportunities for youth led to unexpected
weakness in the Canadian labor market in July, hinting at a
sluggish start to the third quarter.

The economy lost a net 39,400 jobs during the month, and the
unemployment rate ticked up to 7.2 percent from 7.1 percent in
June, Statistics Canada reported on Friday.

Aug 7, 2013

Railway in deadly Quebec explosion files for bankruptcy

OTTAWA/WILMINGTON, Delaware (Reuters) – The railway whose runaway train killed 47 people in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and the United States on Wednesday as it faces mounting pressure from authorities to pay for the disaster cleanup.

Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Ltd (MMA) filed for bankruptcy in both countries to preserve the value of its assets for a potential sale, according to court documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Maine.

Aug 1, 2013

Oil explosion in Quebec train crash “abnormal”, investigator says

* Investigator says probe will be comprehensive, take months

* Officials raise doubts about what fuel was being shipped

* Police end search for bodies; 47 dead or presumed dead

* MMA Railway suggests it may not survive

By Louise Egan

OTTAWA, Aug 1(Reuters) – As investigators seek reasons for
the deadly train crash in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, last month and
the huge “abnormal” fire it caused, they are focusing on the
nature of the fuel cargo as well as the brakes, tanker cars, and
locomotive, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) said
on Thursday.

TSB officials told a news conference that its investigation
into the July 6 railway accident, North America’s worst in two
decades, would last for months and that it was too early to draw
conclusions.

    • About Louise

      "I cover Canadian economic news, central banking and politics. I am based in Ottawa and have been in my current role since 2006. Before that, I wrote about Latin America from Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile."
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