Category: Economics

CPA Survey of Employees

More evidence was released in September that an alarming proportion of Canadians are in financial quicksand. The Canadian Payroll Association’s annual survey shows 40 per cent of working Canadians feel “overwhelmed” by their debt, with more than one-third of respondents saying they loaded up on leverage over the last year. (Will we ever learn). Meanwhile,…

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Our Head-In-Ass Phenomenon & Interest Rates

Like many central bankers nowadays Stephen Poloz, Governor of the Bank of Canada, finds himself in a bit of a pickle these days. Like central bankers elsewhere, Poloz is trying to figure out how to bring historically low interest rates to more normal levels without inadvertently triggering another downturn. To walk that line, he must…

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Sustainability; just a fancy new word for “common sense”

A few years ago, BC Comfort Air Conditioning, a B.C.-based company with over 45 years experience in mechanical HVAC services, noted employees were leaving the doors wide open in the chilly season for convenience. One simple change—asking workers to keep that bay door closed—helped cut natural gas use by 65%, saving the company $7,000 a…

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The 1.8 Trillion Dollar Millstone

Canadians’ collective household debt has climbed to $1.8 trillion as the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) sounded an early warning that the country’s banking system is at risk from rising debt levels. China, Canada and Hong Kong are among the economies deemed most at risk of a banking crisis.  Yes, you read that right.  Not…

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Alberta Economic Outlook 2018

All signs point to growth for Alberta’s economy in 2018 with non-energy sectors poised to perform well, particularly agriculture, agri-foods, tourism and technology. Still, challenges continue, with the unemployment rate stubbornly high and some businesses in the province struggling. Late last month ATB Financial released its first  Alberta Economic Outlook of 2018, providing insight into what…

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Time almost up at the all-you-can-eat buffet?

Canada’s current debt binge has some sounding the alarm on rate hikes. According to Macquarie Capital the unprecedented rise in consumer debt means the Bank of Canada’s (BoC) rate-hiking cycle is already the most severe in 20 years and further increases will have far graver consequences than conventional analysis shows. Assuming just one further rate…

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The End of the Canadian Housing Bonanza?

Canadian home sales rose to a record in December just before tougher mortgage rules took effect, helping make 2017 the second strongest market ever. Transactions climbed 4.5 percent from November to 45,976, according to a report in early January by the Canadian Real Estate Association. The national benchmark price index was little changed on the…

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You’re not as rich as you think

With Canadian policy makers led by Governor Stephen Poloz increasing the benchmark overnight rate to 1.25 percent last week, marking the highest level since the global recession and their third hike since July Canada also became the first major central bank to move ahead with a rate increase in 2018. However central bank officials also…

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Are Canada’s Central Bankers out of touch with Main Street or what?

In spite of a recent report issued earlier this month by the Institute of International Finance (IFF) that the world is swimming in a record $233 trillion of debt, soaring to a record $233 trillion in the third quarter of 2017 Canada’s central banker went ahead today anyways, raising rates by another .25% to 1.25….

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Thinking wisely and acting foolishly

A new CIBC survey shows a quarter of Canadians say paying down debt is their top personal finance priority for 2018 as has been for the previous seven years. And we know how well that’s been working out for households in this country. So is there any reason to believe next year will be different?…

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