Canada economy October 2023-

Written by  //  February 8, 2024  //  Canada, Economy  //  Comments Off on Canada economy October 2023-

Competition Bureau Canada

BCE Inc. cutting 9% of workforce or 4,800 jobs,including journalists and other workers at its Bell Media subsidiary, selling 45 radio stations
(Canadian Press) The company says it could also further scale back network spending as it remains at loggerheads with the CRTC over what it calls predetermined regulatory direction.
Hearings are scheduled next week by the federal telecom regulator as part of a review into the rates smaller internet competitors pay the major carriers for network access.
Thursday’s announcement marks the second major layoff at the media and telecommunications giant since last spring, when six per cent of Bell Media jobs were eliminated and nine radio stations were either shuttered or sold.
Bell Media ends some CTV newscasts, sells radio stations in media shakeup amid layoffs
Bell Media is ending multiple television newscasts and making other programming cuts after its parent company announced widespread layoffs and the sale of 45 of its 103 regional radio stations.
In an internal memo to Bell Media employees on Thursday, it said news stations such as CTV and BNN Bloomberg would be affected immediately.
The radio stations being sold are in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.

6 February
Frank Stronach: A political revolution to save us from economic armageddon
Everyone should be worried about the state of our country
An Oxford Economics report published in late December shows that Canada’s GDP growth is projected to be lower than most other advanced economies, with one of the main culprits being the high level of debt that many Canadian households are carrying.
The real question, though, is: why does Canada now pretty consistently find itself at the back of the pack when compared to other G7 countries?
When it comes to the economy, Canadian CEOs are also rather gloomy: only one out of every four thinks economic growth will improve this year, according to PwC’s annual Global CEO survey, which was released last week. The same survey revealed that nearly half of Canadian CEOs question whether their businesses will still exist 10 years from now.
When asked to list some of the factors that are driving changes in the way their companies operate, CEOs said one of the most prominent factors is government regulation, just slightly behind technological advances and changing customer preferences.

5 February
Manulife will cover specialty drugs at any pharmacy after Loblaw deal backlash
(BNN Bloomberg) Manulife Financial Corp. says patients who require specialty drugs will be able to fill their prescriptions at any pharmacy after backlash sparked by the insurance provider signing an exclusive arrangement with Loblaw Cos. Ltd.
The insurance provider had told patients last month its specialty drug program would transition to being carried out “primarily” through Shoppers Drug Mart and other Loblaw-owned pharmacies. Manulife had previously also covered specialty drugs through national home and community health-care provider Bayshore HealthCare.

2 February
Loblaw CEO Per Bank isn’t here to be famous
… During a fraught time, Loblaw has had some missteps. In 2023, the company took to social media to explain the causes of inflation to people who were complaining – a defensive tone that did not sit well with some. Last month, it walked back a plan to cancel 50-per-cent discounts for food nearing its expiry date, after facing a backlash.
“I’m not pleased with where we are,” Mr. Bank said of the company’s image. “Some of the things where we’re giving to customers, giving them more value, I think that will help. And doing more of the right thing.”
As an example, he cites a new promotional program launched this week, significantly slashing prices on four items for the month of February. Kraft Dinner is one, coming down from its regular price around $1.50, to 55 cents a box. Partly, this was achieved through better negotiations with big suppliers such as Kraft, Mr. Bank said, but also, Loblaw will be selling that product at a loss. Loblaw is planning to release these kinds of deep discounts on a handful of products each month.

11 January
Trudeau botched immigration surge, Canada’s top bank economists say
Rapid population growth causing economic damage and needs to be reconsidered
(Financial Post) Canada accepted about 455,000 new permanent residents in the year to Oct. 1 while bringing in more than 800,000 non-permanent residents.
Canada’s current immigration policy — among the most open in the world — is now causing economic damage and needs to be reconsidered, according to the country’s top economists.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to dramatically increase immigration — and allow a flood of temporary workers and international students — without providing proper support has created a laundry list of economic problems, including higher inflation and weak productivity, chief economists at Canada’s biggest banks said Jan. 11 during a wide-ranging panel discussion in Toronto

3 January
Debt levels mean Canada’s recovery could lag other advanced economies: report
(BNN Bloomberg) Canada’s economy is largely expected to rebound this year, but a recent report suggests Canada could fare worse than similar countries in 2024 due to high levels of household debt.
An Oxford Economics report projects interest rates will come down in late 2024 as Canada experiences a “modest recovery.” But the researchers cautioned that the bounce-back will fall below consensus projections and “worse than other advanced economies.”
“One of the reasons we think Canada is going to have a recession and the U.S. might avoid one is because we have highly indebted households that are very dependant on the housing market and the economy and those impacts are flowing through now,” Tony Stillo, Oxford Economics’ director of economics for Canada, told BNN Bloomberg in Wednesday interview.
Overall, the December report suggested that Canadians will remain reluctant to spend even as interest rates come down.

2023

Competition Bureau report finds Canada’s competitive intensity in decline
Today, the Competition Bureau published the findings of an in-depth study ꟷ Competition in Canada from 2000 to 2020: An Economy at a Crossroads ꟷ which tracks a decline in Canada’s competitive intensity over the last two decades.
The study is the first of its kind in Canada to provide a comprehensive analysis of indicators of competition across the Canadian economy. (19 October 2023)

9 December
Canada’s surging cost of living fuels reverse immigration
(Reuters) – The dream of making it big in Canada is turning into a battle for survival for many immigrants due to the high cost of living and rental shortages, as rising emigration numbers hint at newcomers being forced to turn their back on a country that they chose to make their adopted home.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made immigration his main weapon to blunt Canada’s big challenge of an aging and slowing population, and it has also helped fuel economic growth. That drove Canada’s population up at its fastest clip in more than six decades this year, Statistics Canada said.

23 November
[Doug Porter] BMO chief economist reveals the ‘new villain’ of Canadian inflation
(Globe & Mail) “This is basically the story of the housing unaffordability crisis in one chart. Rents have exploded higher by 8.2 per cent year-over-year in the past 12 months, the fastest pace since 1983. (Recall, a month ago we said that rents are the new villain in the inflation saga.) That’s about 7 percentage points faster than the average annual increase in the 20 years prior to COVID. More importantly, the rise in rents is now far outpacing the underlying trend in personal income. Over the past five years, disposable income per person has perked up to a 3.9-per-cent annualized pace. That’s actually been a touch above average overall inflation over that period (of 3.4 per cent). But it is now miles below rent inflation. This is the first time in 60 years of records that income growth has trailed behind rents—and it’s not even close.

22 November
The Liberals’ new definition of restraint: overspending by less than they had previously
Andrew Coyne
Every time the Liberals update the country on the state of its finances, it is accompanied by pages of prose trumpeting the government’s devotion to fiscal restraint. And yet, every time, spending somehow ratchets higher.
Over the years this contradiction has required ever more creative arguments to conceal. This time around the line is that, although spending is higher, deficits are higher and the debt is higher – tens of billions of dollars higher – than projected in the budget eight months ago, they are not as much over budget as they were expected to be.

21 November
2023 Fall Economic Statement: Outrunning the Hard Rain
Kevin Page, President of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy at the University of Ottawa, former Parliamentary Budget Officer
(Policy) There are few new announcements of fiscal significance. Times are tough. The economy is not growing and unemployment is rising. Expect more of the same in 2024. Freeland is also telling Parliament and Canadians that the government is doing a lot to address affordability and housing supply shortages, even if it feels like they are falling short.
But the fiscal plan is caught between a rock and a hard place.
Traditionally, when governments face economic slowdowns, ministers of Finance will allow the deficit to grow. A loosening of the belt is considered prudent (P.S., many observers do not think the Liberal government has a belt in its wardrobe). A weaker economy means fewer- than-expected revenues and more spending for employment insurance. Conceptually, fiscal restraint in a slowing economy can make things worse. We want governments to stabilize unstable economies. Times are changing. Hell, times are already worse. Call it inflation and the need to lower high interest rates before a soft landing for the economy gets hard.
Six highlights from the fall economic statement as Canadians struggle with affordability issues
The federal government unveiled its 2023 fall economic statement on Tuesday, with promises of new spending to help build affordable homes, support renters and clamp down on Airbnbs.
Federal efforts to solve Canada’s housing crisis are but a drop in the bucket
Craig Alexander has served as chief economist at Deloitte Canada, the Conference Board of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank.
(Globe & Mail) It’s hard not to be cynical about the federal government’s housing policy and its ability to resolve Canada’s housing affordability crisis. In 2017, the federal government announced Canada’s National Housing Strategy: a 10-year plan to help improve affordability, availability and quality of housing. Yet six years later, housing affordability has worsened.

10 November
How Canada – and Bay Street – squandered the chance to finance the critical minerals revolution
Capital has disappeared from Canada’s once-thriving junior mining industry. Badly-burned investors are scared to touch the sector, and companies are barely treading water
While financings for all sectors are slow this year because investors are recalibrating after the COVID-19 pandemic tech bubble popped, mining has lost its lustre in the Canadian market. There are fewer investment banks providing research coverage of up-and-coming mining companies, and fewer investment advisers paying attention to the sector. When a junior company tries to raise money, there just aren’t as many people willing to listen to the sales pitch.
The struggle to finance terrifies politicians and diplomats because Canada and the United States are losing the global critical minerals war. “Simply put, we don’t have enough of these minerals today to meet the world’s – and our own – growing demand,” David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, said in an October speech.
The worry is that China is hoovering up critical minerals and will use them against the West in a geopolitical provocation, the same way Russia held its natural gas supply over Europe’s head when it attacked Ukraine. Currently, China refines more than half of all nickel, lithium and cobalt worldwide.

9 November
Government of Canada to release the 2023 Fall Economic Statement on November 21, 2023
The Fall Economic Statement will provide information on the state of the Canadian economy and update on the government’s economic plan to help create good jobs, to build more homes, and to make life more affordable.
Can Mark Carney save Justin Trudeau?
By Max Fawcett
(National Observer) As the former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, Mark Carney brings a level of economic sophistication few can match. Is it the right fit for the moment, though?

31 October
Canada’s economy stalls in August, seen slipping into recession in Q3
By Ismail Shakil and Steve Scherer
(Reuters) – The Canadian economy stalled in August and likely slipped into a shallow recession in the third quarter, data showed on Tuesday, a sign the central bank’s 10 interest rate hikes since last year are weighing on growth.
With the economy stumbling along slower than the Bank of Canada forecast just last week, analysts said there is no need to raise rates again from 5.0%, a 22-year high. The Canadian dollar was trading lower, near its weakest level in a year.

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