Canada

  • 2020-06-16 15:13


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Following are highlights of BOC Governor Tiff Macklem's opening statement Tuesday to the House of Commons Finance Committee in Ottawa:

    The Bank of Canada is committed to doing everything we can to help the Canadian economy recover from the enormous impact of COVID-19. Today I will talk about the Bank's four main functions and elaborate on how the Bank is responding to the pandemic...

    We help the government manage its finances in a cost-effective way. But this function has taken on added importance during the pandemic. The government's financing needs have increased at an unprecedented pace this fiscal year with the introduction of measures to reduce the pandemic's impact on the Canadian economy.

  • 2020-06-16 12:27


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's House of Commons Finance Committee Chair said BOC Governor Tiff Macklem's public debut Tuesday will update lawmakers on stabilizing markets and coordinating stimulus while leaving questions about record debt burdens until Covid-19 passes.

    Bank of Canada asset purchases and near-zero interest rates are working to keep credit flowing, though some members have questioned the dangers from such large flows of money, Wayne Easter told MNI in a phone interview.

    "What members of the committee will be looking for is, is Mr. Macklem the right guy to ensure that we maintain a stable financial system that we have had in place over time," Easter said.

  • 2020-06-15 08:51


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian factory sales fell a record 29% in April as Covid-19 shut auto assembly lines and other facilities, with Statistics Canada signaling production will rise in May as restrictions eased.

    The decline to CAD36.4 billion exceeded the MNI economist median for a 20% retreat. April was the first full month of shutdowns following restrictions that took hold in the last two weeks of March, when sales fell 10%. Sales fell in all 21 categories, led by drops of 98% for automobiles and 46% for petroleum and coal.

    The inventory-to-sales ratio jumped to 2.41 from 1.74, the largest increase since December 2008. New orders fell 31% to CAD35.1 billion.

  • 2020-06-15 06:30


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's balance sheet grew CAD18 billion to a record CAD498 billion this week with government bonds and bills dominating the increase while the need for corporate liquidity waned.

    Federal t-bill holdings climbed CAD8 billion to CAD116 billion, and federal bonds by CAD7 billion to CAD145 billion, figures through June 10 posted late Friday showed. The bond purchases are faster than the BOC's minimum pledge to acquire at least CAD5 billion a week until the economic recovery is well underway.

    Governor Tiff Macklem may reiterate his pledge for aggressive action when he testifies at the House of Commons finance committee Tuesday, his first public remarks since taking over from Stephen Poloz on June 3.

  • 2020-06-12 16:37


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's balance sheet grew CAD18 billion to a record CAD498 billion this week with government bonds and bills dominating the increase while the need for corporate liquidity waned.

    Federal t-bill holdings climbed CAD8 billion to CAD116 billion, and federal bonds by CAD7 billion to CAD145 billion, figures through June 10 posted late Friday showed. The bond purchases are faster than the BOC's minimum pledge to acquire at least CAD5 billion a week until the economic recovery is well underway.

    Governor Tiff Macklem may reiterate his pledge for aggressive action when he testifies at the House of Commons finance committee Tuesday, his first public remarks since taking over from Stephen Poloz on June 3.

  • 2020-06-12 14:14


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian companies took on record debts in the first quarter as Covid-19 shutdowns took hold while heavily indebted consumers were propped up by relief payouts and mortgage deferrals.

    Companies excluding the financial sector took out a record CAD49.1 billion of non-mortgage loans, Statistics Canada said Friday from Ottawa. The debt-to-equity ratio surged to 212% from 189%, the highest since 2009, as the global crash reduced the value of shares faster than for corporate debt.

    Corporate debt climbed as industrial capacity use declined to 79.8% in the quarter from 81.8%, including a 74.4% rate for factories that was the lowest in a decade.

  • 2020-06-08 09:12


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian housing starts climbed 16% to a 193,500 pace in May, beating analyst expectations and another sign the economy is turning around as some industries re-open following Covid-19 shutdowns.

    The gain beat the 160,000 pace in an MNI survey and is a rebound from 166,500 recorded in April, a month when the total was hurt by a shutdown of construction in the province of Quebec.

    Single-family projects climbed 23% to 53,900 and multiple-unit work by 14% to 139,500 according to a Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report Monday from Ottawa.

    The figures are another indication of recovery in Canada following a surprise employment gain in May that Statistics Canada reported Friday.

  • 2020-06-05 18:40


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's balance sheet grew CAD15.7 billion to a record CAD480 billion to aid markets strained by Covid-19, as new Governor Tiff Macklem endorsed plans to buy at least CAD5 billion a week until the economic recovery is well underway.

    Gains through June 3 reported on Friday were again led by repos and federal government debt. Repos climbed to CAD210 billion from CAD204 billion, and Canada bonds to CAD138 billion from CAD133 billion.

    Government debt has overtaken the value of corporate facilities in the pandemic, a reversal the global financial crisis a decade ago.

  • 2020-06-04 16:37


    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. issued this statement Thursday about mortgage insurance, of which it's the dominant provider in the country:

    The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all sectors of Canada's economy, including housing. Job losses, business closures and a drop in immigration are adversely impacting Canada's housing markets, and CMHC foresees a 9% to 18% decrease in house prices over the next 12 months.

  • 2020-06-04 15:07


    By Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's labor market is expected to show a third steep decline in May as most health-related shutdowns were extended, with a slower pace of job losses not enough to prevent unemployment from reaching a record 15%.

    The unemployment rate seen in the MNI economist median is up from April's 13%. Job losses are expected to slow to 400,000 from record declines of 2 million in April and and 1 million in March. The figures are harder to interpret because millions of Canadians who didn't qualify for regular jobless benefits filed for special relief payments, and people unsure of when things safely re-open may not be actively looking for work.