OTTAWA, April 18 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada on Wednesday
raised its economic growth forecasts for the first three
quarters of 2012 and repeated a warning about high household
debt, pointing to the popularity of home equity lines of credit
(HELOCs) as part of the problem.
Household spending along with business investment will
account for almost all of Canada’s moderate economic growth
through to the end of 2014, the central bank said in its
quarterly Monetary Policy Report.
OTTAWA, April 17 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada left its key
interest rate at 1 percent on Tuesday as expected but said it
may need to start hiking rates due to firmer-than-expected
growth and inflation as well as a less hostile global backdrop.
“In light of the reduced slack in the economy and firmer
underlying inflation, some modest withdrawal of the present
considerable monetary policy stimulus may become appropriate,
consistent with achieving the 2 percent inflation target over
the medium term,” the central bank said in a statement.
OTTAWA, April 11 (Reuters) – Canadian housing starts grew
faster than expected in March, led by a surge in construction of
multiple units that fueled concern about possible over-building
in the Toronto condo market.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said on
Wednesday that housing starts rose to 215,600 units on a
seasonally adjusted annualized basis in March, up from 205,300
units in February.
Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected 200,000 starts in a
housing sector that never suffered the downturns seen in the
United States and other places. The overall housing market
remains robust, with bidding wars for single family homes in
centers like Toronto and Vancouver.
OTTAWA, April 9 (Reuters) – Canadian business sentiment on
future sales rose to its highest level in two years in the first
quarter, and companies also expect to in crease investment and
hire more staff, the Bank of Canada’s spring survey showed on
The survey also found that the percentage of companies that
see the inflation rate at between 2 and 3 percent, the upper end
of the central bank’s 1-3 percent target range, rose to 63
percent from 51 percent, the most since 2007.
OTTAWA, April 5 (Reuters) – Canada’s ailing jobs market
sprang back to life in March with a stunning 82,300 net new
jobs, the most since September 2008 and a tentative sign that
the economy may be growing enough muscle to pressure the central
bank to raise interest rates.
The job gains reported by Statistics Canada on Thursday were
eight times bigger than expected, and were spread fairly evenly
across several sectors. Strong private-sector hiring and more
full-time positions suggested underlying economic strength.
OTTAWA, April 5 (Reuters) – Canada’s stagnant job market
bounced back in March with a stunning 82,300 net new jobs, the
biggest jump since September 2008, in a possible turning point
for the economy that could put pressure on the central bank to
raise interest rates.
The job gains, reported by Statistics Canada on Thursday,
were spread fairly evenly across several sectors and were mainly
in the private sector and in full-time positions.
OTTAWA, March 30 (Reuters) – Economic growth in Canada
slowed in January after a sharp jump in December as strength in
manufacturing and financial services was offset by a decline in
natural gas extraction.
The very modest growth reported by Statistics Canada on
Friday, however, did little to change market expectations that
first-quarter growth overall will be around 2 percent or
slightly higher, above the Bank of Canada’s latest projection of
OTTAWA, March 29 (Reuters) – Canada’s Conservative government plans to
downsize its flagship tax credit for business research and development while
allocating C$400 million ($400 million) in new cash for the creation of venture
capital funds for high-tech startups.
The measures, contained in the federal budget on Thursday, are part of
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s plan to overhaul the country’s generous but
labyrinthine system for business research and development in a bid to reverse
its lagging performance and engender more companies like Blackberry maker
Research in Motion.
OTTAWA, March 29 (Reuters) – Canada opted for the slow road to a balanced
budget and kept spending cuts relatively mild in a cautious budget on Thursday
that was nonetheless packed with policy reforms that ranged from raising the
retirement age to fast-tracking approvals for big oil and mining projects.
The Conservative government maintained a promise made last year to eliminate
its budget deficit, small by international standards at 1.5 percent of gross
domestic product, by the 2015/16 fiscal year after adjusting for promised
OTTAWA, March 28 (Reuters) – Spending cuts in Canada’s
federal budget, which will be presented on Thursday, will be
modest and mostly affect back-office operations rather than
programs and services, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on
Speaking to reporters during his customary pre-budget visit
to a shoe store, Flaherty promised the government would
eliminate its budget deficit, now at about 1.5 percent of gross
domestic product, in the medium term, without putting a date on