North America

  • 2019-12-04 11:14


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve is reviewing how post-crisis liquidity stress tests may have created a preference for bank reserves over liquid assets like Treasuries and disrupted repo markets, Vice Chair Randy Quarles said.

    "We have identified some areas where our existing supervision of the regulatory framework the structure of the framework itself may have created some incentives that were contributors" to extreme volatility in repo markets in September, he told the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday.

  • 2019-12-04 10:00


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Here is the text of the BOC decision:

    The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at 1.75 percent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly 2 percent and the deposit rate is 1.5 percent.

    The Bank's October projection for global economic growth appears to be intact. There is nascent evidence that the global economy is stabilizing, with growth still expected to edge higher over the next couple of years. Financial markets have been supported by central bank actions and waning recession concerns, while being buffeted by news on the trade front. Indeed, ongoing trade conflicts and related uncertainty are still weighing on global economic activity, and remain the biggest source of risk to the outlook.

  • 2019-12-04 10:00


    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate at 1.75% and pared back pessimism about damage from global trade wars and domestic business investment.

    "There is nascent evidence that the global economy is stabilizing, with growth still expected to edge higher over the next couple of years," policy makers said Wednesday from Ottawa.

  • 2019-12-03 15:55


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Donald Trump's imposing of tariffs on Brazil and Argentina is really an extension of his bigger fight with China and a message to factory and farm workers he needs in next year's presidential election, trade experts said.

    Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports Monday and said he was cracking down on currency manipulation and practices harming American farmers, after exempting the two nations last year from a national security review. With Brazil and Argentina already in economic turmoil, the political gains for Trump appear to outweigh the trade rationale, experts from the nonpartisan Atlantic Council said on a conference call Tuesday.

  • 2019-12-02 16:14


    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Monday that the window of opportunity to ratify the replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 2019 is closing.

    "The end of this year's legislative session is rapidly approaching. If a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, I do not see how USMCA can be ratified in 2019," Senator Chuck Grassley said in the Senate chamber.

    The new NAFTA agreement, known in the United States as USMCA, was signed more than a year ago by the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    "I've recently spoken with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and officials in the Administration," Grassley said.

  • 2019-11-28 10:30


    By Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's gross domestic product is expected to show soft growth in the third quarter after a stunning gain in the second, with exports hurt by global trade tensions and indebted consumers holding back.

    The MNI Median shows a growth rate of 1.3% on a mix of global and domestic uncertainties, far below the second quarter pace of 3.7% that was the fastest in two years.

    The global trade war is affecting business investment and exports and they will likely contribute the most to the GDP slowdown.

  • 2019-11-28 06:00


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's small and medium business owners reported the worst outlook and inflation expectations in three years in November, a sign just before next week's Bank of Canada rate decision that the economy is facing fresh pressures.

    The 17.9% of owners who said their firm's "general business situation" is "bad" is the highest since March 2016, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business Barometer. That's a jump from 11.8% in October and above the last decade's average of 13.8%.

    The share of respondents saying their own situation was good fell to 40.8% in November from 43.2% in October.

  • 2019-11-27 14:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the summary section of the Federal Reserve's summary of economic conditions report, or Beige Book, released Wednesday:

    Overall Economic Activity

    Economic activity expanded modestly from October through mid-November, similar to the pace of growth seen over the prior reporting period. Most Districts reported stable to moderately growing consumer spending, and increases in autosales and tourism were seen across several Districts. In manufacturing, more Districts reported an expansion in the current period than the previous one, though the majority continued to experience no growth. The picture for nonfinancial services remained quite positive, with most Districts reporting modest to moderate growth.

  • 2019-11-20 14:47


    --Trudeau Must Pass Budget By Spring With Opposition Support

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada remains on a path of running small enough budget deficits to nudge down the country's debt relative to GDP after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept Bill Morneau at finance in a post-election cabinet shuffle on Wednesday.

    Trudeau's Liberals need one of three opposition parties to support a budget due by next spring to stay in power, after being reduced to a minority of seats in the Oct. 21 vote. Their campaign platform called for a C$27.4 billion shortfall in the fiscal year starting in April, narrowing to C$21 billion by 2024.

  • 2019-11-20 14:25


    By Brooke Migdon and Alexandra Kelley

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee members criticized President Donald Trump's administration for circumventing Congress while reaching an initial trade accord with Japan, and said the deal needed to better assist American farmers.

    Members of Congress claimed Wednesday during a hearing on U.S.-Japan trade that consultations didn't take place before and during the U.S. Trade Representative's talks with Japan, as required under a 2015 act.

    "Sadly the USTR ignored our request for meaningful consultation while negotiations with Japan were ongoing," Ways and Means Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in his opening statement.