Business Update – 20 December 2023

Business Update – 20 December 2023

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

Bank of Canada will cut three times next year to bring rate to 4.25%, Deloitte predicts

The Bank of Canada will likely start cutting interest rates in the second quarter of 2024, predicts the chief economist at Deloitte Canada.

Get ready for the ‘great adjustment’ in Canada’s housing market

Home prices should climb back to pandemic peaks by this time next year, says a new report that surveyed real estate brokers across the country. Royal LePage predicts that the aggregate price of a home in Canada will rise 5.5 per cent year over year by the end of 2024 to $843,684.

Canadian households are feeling the pressure of rate hikes

Canadian household debt levels are worrying analysts. Two reports released this week, one by RBC Economics and one by National Bank of Canada Financial Markets, highlighted the difficult place rising interest rates have left consumers in.

Canadians log more hours than other countries but the workforce is less productive. What gives?

Workers in Canada are less productive than those in many other countries. In the time a Canadian worker produces $1 worth of goods and services, a French worker produces $1.20, and an American $1.30 – a 30-per-cent advantage. And it’s getting worse – in 2000 the U.S. advantage was only 20 per cent. This means our standard of living has deteriorated relative to that of other countries as productivity is directly related to per-capita income.

A keystone political economic indicator for 2024: the unemployment rate

The dust is settling on the 2023 Fall Economic Statement (FES) tabled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on November 21st. In the world of numbers, a few were given spotlight by commentators in the post-statement analysis – e.g., budgetary deficit, public debt, and interest on public debt. In the months ahead, the headline economic indicator that may have the largest impact on policymakers will be the unemployment rate.

Apprenticeship registrations up; certifications down

The number of new apprenticeship registrations in 2022 surpassed pre-COVID-19-pandemic registration levels and marks the highest number of new registrations since 2014, reports Statistics Canada in its latest look at the skilled trades training programs.  Certifications, by contrast, remained below pre-pandemic levels.

Nearly a third of Canadians plan to cut spending in 2024  over cost of living concerns

A special report from the BMO Real Financial Progress Index reveals nearly a third (30 per cent) of Canadians plan to cut back on spending for 2024 amid growing concerns about the cost of living and economic uncertainty.

An Economic Charter could keep Canada from drowning in debt

The latest economic and fiscal outlook from Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) indicates that the federal deficit will grow more than previously projected, up to $46.5 billion in the current fiscal year. The question we need to ask is why are we racking up this enormous debt?

Service exports boost Canada’s economy and global brand

Many people think of tangible goods when they hear the word “exports.” But the fast-growing service sector contributes significantly to the Canadian economy. In fact, service exports totalled $161.2 billion in 2022, generating 12.1% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Bank of Canada governor says 2024 likely to be ‘transition’ year as economy slows, inflation falls

Bank of Canada governor Tiff Macklem says he expects 2024 to be a transition year as higher interest rates slow down the economy, making way for lower inflation.

CMHC says annual pace of housing starts in Canada down 22% in November

The annual pace of housing starts in Canada fell 22 per cent in November as work began on fewer multi-unit projects, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. said Friday.

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The Weekly Digest is taking a two week break.  See you again in 2024!
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