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Oct 23, 2013

Bank of Canada drops rate-hike talk amid slow recovery

OTTAWA, Oct 23 (Reuters) – The Bank of Canada abandoned on
Wednesday an 18-month stretch of rate-hike talk in a dramatic
policy shift that highlighted lower-than-expected growth and the
risk of persistently weak inflation.

In a statement following its latest monetary policy meeting,
the central bank held its key interest rate at 1.0 percent, the
level it has been at for over three years.

Oct 21, 2013

Burning Canadian rail cars keep main line to Pacific blocked

Oct 21 (Reuters) – Burning rail cars from a derailed
Canadian train are taking longer to burn out than Canadian
National Railway (CN) expected, closing the operator’s
main line to the Pacific coast and keeping 100 people from their
homes.

The derailment in the province of Alberta, a reminder of a
deadly accident in Quebec in July that killed 47 people,
happened early on Saturday morning near the little settlement of
Gainford, which was evacuated.

Oct 16, 2013

Canada factory sales slip, weigh on August growth

OTTAWA, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Canadian manufacturing sales
unexpectedly fell in August, likely dampening economic growth in
the month as the outlook for the sector remains murky in light
of the fiscal standoff in its top market, the United States.
Factory shipments sank 0.2 percent from July to a seasonally
adjusted C$49.5 billion ($47.6 billion) in the month, dragged
down by weakness in the vehicle assembly and food industries as
well as an outsized drop in the small jewelry and silverware
sector, Statistics Canada said on Wednesday.
Analysts surveyed by Reuters had predicted a 0.2 percent
gain in August. Eleven of 21 industries registered setbacks.
The volume of sales, used in calculating gross domestic
product, fell 0.3 percent.
The report suggests manufacturing will contribute little to
monthly GDP and supports the Bank of Canada’s move to downgrade
its growth forecast for the third quarter to between 2.0 and 2.5
percent from 3.8 percent, annualized.
“Manufacturing has stagnated in 2013 and not much positive
momentum should be expected over the balance of the year as the
prospects of a healthy recovery in the U.S. into the fourth
quarter look precarious,” said Mazen Issa, an economist with TD
Securities.
After weeks of bitter fighting, U.S. lawmakers prepared on
Wednesday to put forth a proposal to raise the debt limit and
reopen a partially shuttered government in hopes of avoiding a
historic default which could throw the economy back into
recession.
Canada sells about 75 percent of its exports in the United
States.
“Even if a short-term deal is brokered to extend the
deadline into early next year, uncertainty will hang in the
balance leaving the Canadian manufacturing industry in limbo,”
Issa said in a note to clients.
Year on year, sales were up by just 0.3 percent in current
dollar terms and down 2.1 percent in volume.

Growth in the Canadian economy has disappointed this year,
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said on Friday, and August
trade data released last week showed exports were still not
providing the much-wanted boost in the third quarter.

Oct 11, 2013

Bank of Canada’s Poloz says growth has disappointed

WASHINGTON, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Canada’s economic growth has
disappointed so far, Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said
on Friday, and he acknowledged his upbeat-sounding speech last
month had caused some market confusion over the bank’s outlook
that needed correcting.

“It’s fair to say that growth has disappointed us to this
stage. We are behind where we thought we would be, say a year
ago or for that matter six months ago,” Poloz said at a news
conference following a meeting of finance ministers and central
bank governors from the Group of 20 nations.

Oct 11, 2013

G20 presses U.S. to act quickly to avoid default

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Finance officials from the world’s biggest economies on Friday pressed the United States to head off a potentially devastating default and vowed to proceed carefully when the time comes to normalize monetary policy.

A communique issued at the end of a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers said the United States “needs to take urgent action to address short-term fiscal uncertainties.”

Oct 10, 2013

Canada’s Flaherty thinks Fed should taper as quickly as possible

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Canada’s Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty said on Thursday the U.S. Federal Reserve should exit
from its massive bond-buying program as quickly as possible,
saying he never supported the printing of money in order to
stimulate the economy.

“I don’t think they should have done it in the first place,”
he told reporters, referring to the Fed’s $85 billion-a-month
bond buying program.

Oct 8, 2013

Canadian stats agency retrofits media room to prevent data leaks

OTTAWA, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Canada’s national statistics
agency has spent nearly C$420,000 ($404,000) to retrofit its
media room with impenetrable metal walls to prevent wireless
communication from reporters who obtain market-moving data under
embargo, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The conversion of the media lockup room into a bunker-like
vault, which was completed at the end of September, came after a
probe into alleged leaks of data found no wrongdoing and as the
federal agency faces budget cuts forcing it to eliminate or
reduce 34 programs.

Oct 8, 2013

U.S. crisis shouldn’t slow G20 growth plan – Canada

OTTAWA, Oct 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. gridlock over government
finances will dominate a meeting of G20 finance officials this
week but should not slow down the group’s work on an action plan
to bolster long-term growth, a senior Canadian financial
official said on Tuesday.

The official, who briefed reporters on condition of
anonymity, said focusing on the short-term crisis in the United
States was the responsible thing to do because increased
uncertainty could throw a wrench in the efforts by the Group of
20 leading economies to engineer stronger growth. He said the
G20 might have some influence on U.S. officials through peer
pressure and discussion.

Oct 8, 2013

Canada August trade deficit widens, hitting Q3 growth

OTTAWA, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Canada’s trade deficit widened
more than expected in August as imports soared to a record high,
suggesting that exports were still not providing the
much-desired boost to economic growth in the third quarter.

The trade deficit climbed to C$1.31 billion ($1.27 billion)
as imports grew by 2.1 percent to set a new record and exports
rose by 1.8 percent, Statistics Canada said on Tuesday.

Oct 7, 2013

Quebec launches stimulus plan as election talk heats up

OTTAWA, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The government of Quebec announced
a C$2 billion ($1.94 billion) stimulus package on Monday aimed
at creating jobs and jump-starting the French-speaking
province’s sagging economy, which has underperformed the broader
Canadian economy this year.

Premier Pauline Marois announced the spending package, which
includes tax breaks and power subsidies for companies that
invest, amid speculation her separatist government might force a
snap election later this year in hopes of turning her minority
government into a majority.

    • 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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