Front Page

  • 2020-01-22 10:00

    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - The Bank of Canada held its key interest rate at 1.75%, dropping a phrase about borrowing costs being appropriate to say it's watching for signs that slower-than-expected growth will persist.

    Geopolitical and trade tensions remain high and may be spreading into Canada's resilient domestic economy, adding slower job growth and consumer spending to already shaky investment and exports. The slowdown that started in the fourth quarter will extend into the first quarter of this year and move the economy away from full output, the Ottawa-based BOC said Wednesday.

  • 2020-01-22 04:34

    LONDON (MNI) - A burst of government spending has lifted year-to-date borrowing well above the full-year target, even ahead of a dose of government largesse expected in the March budget.

    The following are the key points from public sector finance data published Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - The UK's financial position has deteriorated markedly in the current financial year, courtesy of 5.0% surge in government spending on goods and services, the biggest year-to-date increase since records began in 1997.

    - Borrowing has increased by 7.9% over the first nine months of the fiscal year to GBP54.6 billion, far exceeding the Office for Budget Responsibility target of GBP47.6 billion.

  • 2020-01-22 01:49

    TOKYO (MNI) - The Bank of Japan warns that corporate investment may slow if profits at automobile-related goods and capital goods firms declined, according to full text of the quarterly Outlook Report published Wednesday.

    "Business fixed investment, (a main pillar for an economic recovery), is expected to remain steady overall as firm investments in construction as well as in software and research and development offset weak machinery investment by manufacturers," the report said.

    "However, since some weakness has continued in exports and production - particular in automobile-related goods and capital goods, both of which have a large impact on Japan's economy - due attention needs to be paid to the possibility that firms' investment stance may become cautious if profits

  • 2020-01-21 14:11

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Federal Reserve is practically engaging in quantitative easing without officially announcing such a policy, President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday.

    Asked whether the Fed's Treasury bill purchases is another way for the Fed to quietly do QE, "I basically do," Kudlow said in a panel in Davos, Switzerland.

    "The net effect is they are expanding the balance sheet, whatever you wish to call it. I think it's not a coincidence that the stock market and housing market -- and indeed asset prices -- are rising again," he told the World Economic Forum.

    "The stock market has been a mirror of all this stuff. It's almost uncanny," Kudlow said.

  • 2020-01-20 12:04

    --Railway Strike Curbed Shipments Following UAW Strike

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada will likely report the fifth decline in factory sales in six months for November, with shipments disrupted again by labor strikes.

    Sales declined 0.4% according to the MNI economist median, following a 0.7% October decline. While the previous report showed disruptions from a UAW strike that hit auto production, November is hurt by a CN railway worker strike.

    The declines could again pull down GDP on the month and take fourth-quarter growth further away from the BOC's estimate to below a 1% annualized pace.

  • 2020-01-20 08:00

    TOKYO (MNI) - The International Monetary Fund on Monday upgraded its forecast for Japan's GDP growth in 2020 to 0.7% from October's 0.5%, due partly to the government stimulus measures.

    Japan's GDP forecast in 2019 was revised up to 1.0% from 0.9% made in October, while the IMF left its outlook for 2021 unchanged at 0.5%.

    "The upward revision to estimated 2019 growth reflects healthy private consumption, supported in part by government countermeasures that accompanied the October increase in the consumption tax rate, robust capital expenditure, and historical revisions to national accounts," the IMF said in the latest World Economic Outlook

    "The upgrade to the 2020 growth forecast reflects the anticipated boost from the December 2019 stimulus measures.

  • 2020-01-20 07:00

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Climate change threatens the price stability targets of central banks and the damage could force them to rescue the financial system again, the Bank for International Settlements said in a research paper Monday.

    Central banks may have to become "climate rescuers of last resort" and buy large sets of devalued or carbon-intensive assets, said the paper from the Switzerland-based BIS.

    "A new global financial crisis triggered by climate change would render central banks and financial supervisors powerless," said the paper by BIS Deputy General Manager Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva and co-authors Patrick Bolton, Morgan Despres, Frederic Samama and Romain Svartzman.

    Central banks have a role to play in avoiding such an outcome, like providi

  • 2020-01-17 12:45

    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Federal Reserve Governor Randy Quarles on Friday laid out proposals to increase transparency in how the Fed supervises banks, including giving them more time to review their stress test results and seeking public and Congressional input on the Fed's supervisory guidance.

    The Fed Board could provide more transparency on the design of its stress test, make their requirements less "volatile" from year-to-year and allow firms more time to review their results, Quarles said in remarks prepared for an American Bar Association meeting in Washington.

  • 2020-01-17 08:34

    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - President Donald Trump is sending long-delayed Federal Reserve Board of Governors nominations of Judy Shelton and Christopher Waller to the Senate for confirmation, according to an announcement from the White House on Thursday.

    Shelton, a former adviser to President Trump's 2016 presidential bid and controversial economist who most recently served as the U.S. executive director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Waller, the research director and executive vice president of the St. Louis Fed, were originally named as potential nominees by Trump in early July in the form of a tweet.

    Shelton has been nominated to a term expiring in Jan. 2024 and Waller to a term expiring in Jan. 2030.

  • 2020-01-17 04:34

    By Laurie Laird and Irene Prihoda

    LONDON (MNI) - UK retail sales fell unexpectedly in December, suggesting that previously-resilient consumers lost their nerve in the closing months of 2019.

    The following are the key points from December retail sales data published Friday by the Office for National Statistics.

    - Retail sales contracted by 1.0% in the fourth quarter, the biggest quarterly decline since the first quarter of 2017, leaving the sector poised to subtract 0.05 percentage points from Q4 GDP.

    - The disappointing data will only raise expectations that the Bank of England could reduce interest rates later this month.