• 2020-05-14 10:51

    The Bank of Canada released the following opening statement Thursday from Governor Stephen Poloz on the Financial System Review:

    Good morning, and thank you for being with us today. Senior Deputy Governor Wilkins and I are glad to have the opportunity to discuss the latest issue of the Bank of Canada's Financial System Review (FSR), which we published today.

    The traditional purpose of the FSR is to identify key vulnerabilities in the financial system that can interact with and magnify economic events. Today, we are facing an extreme event in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2020-05-14 06:00

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian small business confidence climbed back to near where it was in the months before the Covid-19 pandemic on optimism that health shutdowns are being relaxed, an industry group's flash survey showed Thursday.

    The Canadian Federation of Independent Business index rose 7 points to 53.2 in biweekly polling done May 5-6.

  • 2020-05-12 18:10

    --Agency Suspends Access Amid Investigation Of Report Leaked Friday

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Statistics Canada has suspended giving advance figures from its monthly job reports to five outside departments, following Friday's leak of the data before the official release time.

    The agency gave advance April figures to people at the prime minister's office, the Bank of Canada, and the finance, labor and innovation departments, according to a statement late Tuesday. StatsCan didn't give the total number of people with advance access.

    "Pre-release information is sent through a secure file transfer system the day prior to release and officials are forbidden from briefings until after the markets close at 5pm," the statement said.

  • 2020-05-11 06:00

    --Pace Set To Increase As Fresh BOC Bond Buys Kick In

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's CAD7.5 billion balance sheet growth over the latest reporting week was the slowest since policy makers stepped in to aid markets disrupted by Covid-19, though the pace may pick up as new programs for CAD60 billion of provincial and corporate bond purchases start.

    The slower gain still pushed assets held to another record of CAD392 billion as of May 6 according to figures posted over the weekend.

    Federal T-bill holdings led the increase, moving to CAD65.8 billion from CAD54 billion, and government bond purchases rose to CAD112 billion from CAD106 billion.

  • 2020-05-07 15:12

    By Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada is expected to report employment fell by 4 million in April amid the unprecedented shutdowns triggered by Covid-19, a staggering figure for a nation of 38 million people.

    The estimate in an MNI economist survey would be four times the 1 million job decline in March as health restrictions kept most people at home. The unemployment rate is seen jumping from 7.8% to 16.6%, the highest in records back to 1960 and likely the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s.

    Investors should look beyond headline figures to assess workers who are in limbo facing temporary or permanent layoffs, and numbers that suggest how much GDP will decline.

  • 2020-05-05 13:55

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's federal housing agency signaled it may need a government bailout as the Covid-19 pandemic triggers a surge in unemployment and mortgage insurance claims, a scenario it long claimed was nearly impossible.

    Canada Mortgage and Housing's annual report published Tuesday said "increases in insurance claims losses may occur, however we are currently unable to estimate the potential impact on our financial results or condition."

    "In the event our capital position may be impacted, under the Capital and Dividend Policy Framework for Financial Crown Corporations, the Government would stand prepared to inject capital into CMHC should additional capital be needed to deliver on our public policy mandate," the report said.

    The agency may also

  • 2020-05-05 09:06

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada's trade deficit was a smaller-than-expected CAD1.4 billion in March, though exports and imports tumbled as the Covid-19 pandemic led to border controls and business shutdowns that are likely to be much tougher in April.

    Exports fell 4.7% to CAD46.3 billion while imports were down 3.5% to CAD47.7 billion, the lowest since October 2017. Economists surveyed by MNI predicted the overall deficit would be CAD2 billion.

    "With a full month of physical distancing policies in place in April, merchandise trade values are expected to decrease more severely next month," Statistics Canada said Tuesday from Ottawa.

    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau barred overseas travelers on March 16 and soon after took the historic step of closing the U.S.

  • 2020-05-04 14:45

    --PM Also Signals Airline Bailout, Defers Delivering Budget

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his government approved the nomination of Tiff Macklem as Bank of Canada governor over the chance to name the first female leader of the 85-year-old central bank based on considerations of merit.

    Trudeau spoke at his daily press conference Monday, three days after Finance Minister Bill Morneau confirmed the nomination made by the central bank's board of directors. Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins was considered a top candidate based on her work building the central bank's emergency policy toolkit and because Trudeau named a gender-balanced cabinet when he first took office five years ago.

  • 2020-05-04 13:23

    --Speech Doesn't Address Her Plans After New Governor Named

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins defended record asset purchases made to carry the economy through the Covid-19 pandemic, without addressing her future role after a new Governor was named Friday.

    The balance sheet expansion to CAD385 billion last week from CAD120 billion at the beginning of March is unclogging markets all the way down to bedrock trading in Canadian government bonds, Wilkins said in the text of a closed-door speech Monday at the CD Howe think-tank in Toronto.

    "This dynamic is particularly problematic when it occurs in the market for GoC bonds because they are held as the safest Canadian-dollar asset and are a benchmark for other asset prices.

  • 2020-05-01 15:18

    By Greg Quinn

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada's balance sheet grew to a fresh record of CAD384 billion on Friday, with incoming Governor Tiff Macklem signaling he will continue with aggressive asset purchases to heal the economy after the Covid-19 slump.

    Assets as of April 29 climbed from CAD349 billion a week earlier, according to the Ottawa-based central bank's website. Repos climbed to CAD181 billion from CAD167 billion, and T-bills to CAD54 billion from CAD38 billion.

    Macklem affirmed that asset purchases will remain the policy focus when he takes over in June by agreeing the current 0.25% overnight borrowing rate is the effective lower bound.