OTTAWA/TORONTO, Feb 27 (Reuters) – Lower prices for crude
oil helped to widen Canada’s current account deficit to its
fourth-largest level ever in the final months of last year,
underlining economists’ expectations that net exports were a
drag on economic growth in the fourth quarter.
The gap widened to C$16.01 billion ($14.42 billion) in the
fourth quarter of 2013, Statistics Canada said on Thursday.
Still, the deficit was smaller than the C$17.00 billion analysts
had forecast and previous deficits were revised lower.
OTTAWA/TORONTO, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Canada’s annual inflation
rate jumped unexpectedly last month to its highest in 1-1/2
years, alleviating concern that the country is headed for
disinflation and reducing the likelihood the Bank of Canada will
be forced to cut already low interest rates.
But the impact of the positive inflation data was offset by
a figures that showed a slump in retail sales in December as
harsh winter weather kept consumers at home. The drop was the
biggest in 12 months and reinforced expectations that the
economy likely shrank in the last month of 2013.
OTTAWA, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Canada’s annual inflation rate
unexpectedly jumped to 1.5 percent in January from 1.2 percent
in December, reducing the likelihood of an interest rate cut by
the disinflation-preoccupied Bank of Canada.
Statistics Canada also said on Friday the monthly rise in
prices in January from December was 0.3 percent, again more than
expected, after a decline of 0.2 percent in December. Core
inflation, which excludes volatile items like fruit and
gasoline, also came in higher than expected at 1.4 percent on an
annual basis and 0.2 percent on a monthly basis.
OTTAWA, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Quebec’s two largest opposition
parties said they would vote against the provincial budget that
was introduced on Thursday, assuring a spring election, the
French branch of CBC television reported.
The separatist Parti Quebecois currently heads a minority
government and has a comfortable lead in the polls, and it might
well call an election on its own in the next two weeks, before
it is brought down in a vote on its budget. In either case, an
election by mid-April is likely.
OTTAWA/TORONTO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Canadian
telecommunications companies paid a record C$5.27 billion ($4.78
billion) in an auction to secure airwave licenses, the federal
government said on Wednesday, as a new national challenger
emerged from Quebec.
The stronger-than-expected result was a windfall for
taxpayers and a welcome outcome for the ruling Conservative
party, which has made pro-consumer wireless policies a key plank
of a 2015 re-election strategy.
OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian telecom companies paid a record C$5.27 billion ($4.78 billion) in an auction to secure licenses for prime airwaves, the federal government said on Wednesday, as a new national challenger looks set to emerge from Quebec.
The biggest national players – Rogers Communications, BCE Inc’s Bell, and Telus Corp – grabbed the lion’s share of the 700 megahertz spectrum, on which they plan to build more powerful wireless network.
OTTAWA/NORTH VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb 14 (Reuters) -
C anada’s Conservative government will deliver tax relief to
families when it balances the budget in 2015, Finance Minister
Jim Flaherty said on Friday, but he wouldn’t confirm whether it
will stick to a controversial pledge on “income splitting”.
The Conservatives pledged in 2011 that once the budget is
balanced they would let couples with children reduce taxes by
sharing their income for tax purposes, similar to U.S. rules
whereby couples get a lower tax bracket when they file jointly.
OTTAWA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. weapons maker General Dynamics Corp (GD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has won a contract worth up to $13 billion for its Canadian division to build light-armored vehicles for Saudi Arabia, in what Ottawa said was the largest advanced manufacturing export win in Canadian history.
General Dynamics said on Friday the 14-year contract for military and commercial vehicles and training and support services has a value of $10 billion, but could be worth about $13 billion if all options were exercised.
OTTAWA, Feb 14 (Reuters) – A decline in the volatile
aerospace sector led Canadian factory sales to a 0.9 percent
fall in value in December from the month before, lending weight
to the view that the economy may have shrunk modestly in the
last month of the year.
The Statistics Canada data on Friday also showed that the
volume of sales fell by an even greater 1.9 percent in December,
the biggest fall in 12 months.
OTTAWA/TORONTO, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty, freshly armed with C$500 million ($455 million) to
subsidize Canada’s auto sector, signaled on Wednesday the
federal government might offer substantial cash to keep Chrysler
Group from closing an Ontario minivan plant.
Fiat SpA Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said
last month that Chrysler could scrap an upgrade of the Windsor,
Ontario, plant and move production and jobs elsewhere if
government fails to come through with financial incentives.