• 2020-02-27 09:12

    --Small Business Barometer Shows Biggest Retailer Gain In a Year

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian retailer confidence rose the most in more than a year in February, suggesting resilience in domestic spending as the Bank of Canada considers a rate cut to boost demand.

    The Canadian Federation of Independent Business said its retail index climbed 8.6 points to 61.0, the second-biggest gain among the 13 industries it tracks. The headline Barometer climbed 5.2 to 60.5, the highest since August according to a report Thursday.

  • 2020-02-26 11:22

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's finance department said the government supports the central bank's new plan to prepare groundwork for a digital currency, saying it will help the country respond if needed to changes in the marketplace.

    The Bank of Canada said Tuesday it is mapping out how to issue a digital currency in case the decline of cash or new private forms of money shake up the financial system. Deputy Governor Tim Lane said there are no plans to issue digital currency and any move needs broad public support and legislative changes.

    "The Government of Canada welcomes the work by the Bank of Canada on central bank digital currency," Marie-France Faucher, a spokeswoman with the department, said by email on Wednesday.

  • 2020-02-25 12:15

    --Lane Says Digital Currency May Be Needed In Future

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada is mapping out how it might issue a digital currency in case the decline of cash or new private forms of money shake up the financial system, Deputy Governor Tim Lane said Tuesday.

    There are no current plans to issue a digital currency and the government would have to alter legislation to permit such a change, Lane said.

    The speech and a 17-page discussion paper is the strongest signal yet about Canada may deal with the popularity of digital payments and challenges to sovereignty from private alternatives like Facebook's Libra and bitcoin.

  • 2020-02-24 15:38

    --Resolution May Limit Canada GDP Hit to February

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said police needed to clear protesters from a railway blockade on Monday to protect the economy from further damage and because negotiations had broken down.

    Ontario police started moving to make arrests just after 8am EST and around 130pm workers were testing signals on the main rail line between Montreal and Toronto, according to scenes shown on local TV stations. Protesters ignored Trudeau's call Friday to end the dispute immediately and other warnings from police to leave.

    Shipments that manufacturers say are worth hundreds of millions of dollars a day have been suspended for more than two weeks.

  • 2020-02-14 10:11

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's housing market remained tight in January with average prices rising the most since mid-2016 and measures of the inventory of properties for sale the lowest in more than a decade.

    The average price of $504,350 was up 11.2% from a year earlier, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Friday from Ottawa. The Toronto area is among the hottest markets while declines in Vancouver are fading, with quality-adjusted prices in both cities up more than 50% from five years ago.

    The return of housing market strain is a big reason the BOC is reluctant to cut the G7's highest interest rate of 1.75%, because faster growth now could come at the expense of a bigger setback down the road.

  • 2020-02-05 12:15

    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada is studying a nominal GDP target and putting more weight on past inflation during a review of its 2% inflation goal that's up for renewal next year, Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said Wednesday.

    The global use of tools like QE and negative rates is also being studied, and it's still unclear what their long-term effects are, Wilkins said in a speech in Toronto. Canada avoided most of those extraordinary tools in the 2008 financial crisis, and some of them are still in use abroad more than a decade later.

  • 2020-01-30 13:54

    --Independent Staff Paper Says Household Credit Biggest Challenge

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Central banks can blunt the "tail risk" of an economic slump if their policy moves aren't so dramatic they throw GDP growth off course, according to a paper by BOC researchers published Thursday.

    Macroprudential regulations can head off the rapid expansion of household credit, the major growth risk in the medium term, according to an independent paper by Thibaut Duprey and Alexander Ueberfeldt in the BOC's financial stability branch.

    Their work may help policymakers communicate reasons why they would choose a policy aimed more toward longer-term financial risks than economic growth, the authors wrote.

  • 2020-01-27 11:50

    --Statistics Canada Makes Annual Revision to Labour Force Survey

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's job market wasn't as bad as thought late last year with revisions Monday showing the November decline is no longer the steepest in a decade, a potential relief to a central bank that signaled it may cut rates because of persistent weakness.

    Statistics Canada published annual revisions paring the November drop in jobs to 54,400 from the original report of 71,200, which was the largest since the last recession in 2009. The revised figure is now the largest job decline since January 2018, according to MNI calculations using StatsCan's data.

    The December job gain was marked down to 27,300 from 35,200, Statistics Canada said.

  • 2020-01-23 13:10

    --Canadian Finance Minister Says He Has More Firepower For Downturn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's finance minister said Thursday deficit spending is taking pressure off the central bank to drive growth with ultra low interest rates, and he has plenty of firepower to deal with any future downturn.

    Bill Morneau said the current deficit of roughly 1% of GDP helps make sure the central bank isn't alone in supporting growth. The government introduced a family tax cut after being re-elected late last year and before that moved to mirror U.S. tax cuts on new business investment.

  • 2020-01-22 11:43

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following is the text of Wednesday's press conference from BOC Governor Stephen Poloz and Senior Deputy Carolyn Wilkins:

    "Good morning. Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins and I are glad to be here to answer your questions about today's interest rate announcement and our Monetary Policy Report (MPR). Before turning to your questions, let me briefly summarize the substance of Governing Council's deliberations.

    You will recall that in October we were most occupied with the deteriorating global outlook. We could see clearly that this was affecting Canada's economy too -- not only through exports and the manufacturing sector, but also through the effects of heightened uncertainty on firms' investment decisions.