Finance (Personal)

Inflation uptick reported in April

Statistics Canada reported today that annual inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index was 4.4 per cent in April compared with the month-earlier 4.3 per cent. It was the first increase since the CPI began sliding from 8.1 per cent in June 2022. [node:read-more:link]

CRA workers returning to work

A day after saying the government had fallen short in contract talks with union leaders representing 35,000 striking Canada Revenue Agency employees, negotiators said today that they had reached a tentative deal. Members were turning to work almost immediately and, subject to ratification, their new contract includes a 12.6 per cent compounded wage increase over four years. [node:read-more:link]

U.K. cracks down on scams

Unsolicited calls offering consumers financial or insurance products are to be prohibited by the British government as part of a crackdown on the increased prevalence of fraud. The initiative is to be backed by an increase in the government’s fraud squad to 500 personnel from 120. [node:read-more:link]

Inflation continues to drop

Statistics Canada reported today that the country’s annual inflation rate in March was 4.3 per cent, a drop from the previous month’s 5.2 per cent and continuing a downward trajectory. The effect of higher mortgage rates was softened by lower energy prices. [node:read-more:link]

Higher bank rates possible

Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem says the bank is prepared to raise its policy rate if necessary to bring inflation back to its 2 per cent target in 2024. The rate is on hold at 4.5 per cent on Wednesday as inflation continues to decelerate but Macklem said April 12 that “if monetary policy is not restrictive enough to get us all the way back to the […]target, we are prepared to raise the policy rate.” [node:read-more:link]

Bank rate stays the course

The Bank of Canada confirmed today that it is holding its overnight lending rate at at 4.5 per cent. It had been expected because the bank had telegraphed the decision after raising the rate eight times between March 2022 and February 2023. [node:read-more:link]

Tax workers positioned to strike

The union representing 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency service workers says they have voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of strike action, which would be legal as of April 14. Their last contract expired some 17 months ago. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. tackles housing crisis

The B.C. government plans to invest an initial $4 billion over three years in the hope of easing a housing crisis which Premier David Eby said April 3 “is touching people in every corner of the province.” He also pointed out that “businesses are struggling to attract workers who can't afford to live in the communities where the jobs are.” [node:read-more:link]

Federal minister defends carbon levy

Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault has acknowledged that average households may eventually pay more for energy because of the government’s incremental increases in its carbon levy than they get in rebates but he insists that other programs to help to reduce overall costs. The levy increased this weekend to $64 a tonne from $50 and the Parliamentary Budget Officer has said that when it reaches $170 by 2030, most households can expect a net loss. [node:read-more:link]

Britain hikes key lending rates

The Bank of England today raised its key lending rate by a quarter of a point to 4.25 per cent, its highest in 14 years, after inflation spiked unexpectedly in February. “We were really a bit on a knife edge as to whether there would be a recession, Bank Governor Andrew Bailey said. “But I’m a bit more optimistic now” even though the economy was “not off to the races.” [node:read-more:link]

Inflation cooled in February

Statistics Canada reported today that the annualized inflation rate in February was 5.2 per cent compared with the previous month’s 5.9 per cent and it was the largest deceleration since April 2020. Despite the overall cooling, grocery prices remained elevated, up 10.6 per cent from a year ago because of supply constraints and bad weather in some food growing regions. [node:read-more:link]

Ballooning backlog of passenger complaints

The federal government is giving the Canadian Transport Agency an additional $75.9 million over three years to help deal with an avalanche of airline passenger complaints. “Travellers have rights, and these rights must be respected,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said March 14. CGA officials said late last year that more than 30,000 complaints were still unresolved and Alghabra said the latest count is some 42,000. [node:read-more:link]

Central bank interest rate unchanged

The Bank of Canada’s key lending rate was held at 4.5 per cent today after eight consecutive increases. The pause had been signalled by the bank in January as it assessed the overall economic impact of its policy. Growth stalled in the latest quarter as interest rates affected household spending and business investment. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian economy stumbles

Statistics Canada reported today shows that the economy stalled in the fourth quarter of 2022 after five consecutive quarters of growth, mostly due to reduced investment by businesses and consumers. It actually shrank by 0.1 per cent in December from November, potentially setting up the Bank of Canada to freeeze interest rates. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian inflation decelerates slightly

Statistics Canada reported today that annual inflation rate slowed to 5.9 per cent in January from the previous month’s 6.3 per cent despite continued surging food and gasoline costs. The agency said it expects the overall rate to continue decelerating. [node:read-more:link]


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