OTTAWA (Reuters) – The government’s steely determination to balance Canada’s budget by 2015 could break an economy that is already showing signs of strain, as Ottawa seeks to rebuild a reputation for prudence that made it the envy of the industrialized world.
The 2013-14 federal budget, due later this month, is set to reinforce the government’s message that the deficit will be eliminated by 2015, an election year, and it will include what Finance Minister Jim Flaherty called “more sacrifices” from various ministries in the form of spending cuts.
OTTAWA, March 8 (Reuters) – Private sector economists have
cut their growth forecasts for the Canadian economy in 2013 due
to volatile market conditions in the United States and Europe,
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Friday.
Flaherty, speaking to reporters after meeting the
economists, did not give precise figures. Ottawa’s budget,
expected later this month, is based on projections from around a
dozen private sector economists.
OTTAWA, March 8 (Reuters) – Canada’s job market once again
defied expectations to post strong gains in February, lending
some credibility to predictions of an economic comeback this
year after the slowest two quarters of growth since the 2008-09
Employment rebounded from January’s losses with the addition
of 50,700 net new positions in February. Most of the gains were
in the services industries while manufacturers saw hefty layoffs
for the second straight month.
OTTAWA, March 6 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada softened its
stance on the need for interest rate hikes on Wednesday, saying
it will likely hold its benchmark rate steady for “a period of
time” but that its next move would still probably be a hike
rather than a cut.
The central bank held its overnight lending target unchanged
at 1.0 percent, where it has been since September 2010. It had
been signaling for several months that it intends to raise the
rate, but in January said such a move was “less imminent” and on
Wednesday took another step back.
OTTAWA, March 4 (Reuters) – Canadian Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty warned the country’s banks on Monday not to engage in
the kind of risky lending that led to the U.S. housing crisis,
after Bank of Montreal cut a popular mortgage rate back to a
Record-high household debt, fueled partly by ultra-low
borrowing costs, remains a nagging concern for Flaherty even as
Canada’s once-hot housing market starts to cool.
OTTAWA, March 1 (Reuters) – Slow Canadian economic growth
means the government will have lower revenues than initially
forecast in drawing up the next budget and some ministries may
need to cut spending further, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said
He said he continues to plan to eliminate the federal
government’s relatively small deficit by 2015 in spite of the
OTTAWA, March 1 (Reuters) – Canada’s economy sputtered in
the final quarter of 2012 as businesses sharply cut back
inventories, resulting in the weakest six months since the
2008-09 recession, Statistics Canada data showed on Friday.
The report also showed the economy shrank in December, and
the slowdown will likely add pressure on the Bank of Canada to
keep stimulus in place for longer and weigh on the Conservative
government as it prepares its next budget.
OTTAWA, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Canada’s current account deficit
narrowed in the fourth quarter of 2012 as the country exported
more goods to the United States, but the gap remained near
record levels and analysts maintained their glum outlook for
Canadian economic growth and trade.
The current account deficit for the quarter totaled C$17.3
billion ($16.9 billion), Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
That was slightly bigger than the C$17 billion forecast by
analysts in a Reuters poll, and smaller than the revised C$18.04
billion gap in the third quarter.
OTTAWA, Feb 27 (Reuters) – The former chief executive of
SNC-Lavalin Group Inc, a Canadian construction and
engineering company caught in a far-reaching misconduct scandal,
faces six new fraud-related charges, police said on Wednesday
after issuing a warrant for his arrest.
The province of Quebec’s anti-corruption police unit alleges
that ex-CEO Pierre Duhaime, who resigned from the Montreal-based
company last year, committed fraud and other criminal offenses.
OTTAWA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Canadian wholesale trade shrank
more than expected in December in the latest sign the economy is
sputtering, adding pressure on the government as it seeks to
strike a balance between spending cuts and growth-boosting
measures in its next budget.
Wholesale trade fell 0.9 percent on a reversal of November’s
gains in the computer and communications equipment industry,
Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.