Weekly Digest – 27 March 2024

Weekly Digest – 27 March 2024

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

Drop the mortgage stress test at renewal, competition watchdog urges Ottawa

Canada’s competition watchdog is urging Ottawa to drop requirements for some borrowers to pass the mortgage stress test at renewal, arguing it limits Canadians’ abilities to shop around for a better rate.

Business insolvency filings highest in years

Dina Kovacevic, editor-in-chief of Insolvency Insider Canada, talks with Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about the rising trend of insolvency filings and bankruptcies in Canada. In 2023, insolvency filings hit the highest number since 2019, and have continued to be “very high” in 2024.

Canada’s international transactions in securities, January 2024

Foreign investment in Canadian securities amounted to $8.9 billion in January, led by acquisitions of government debt securities. Meanwhile, Canadian investors reduced their holdings of foreign securities by $7.6 billion, led by sales of equity securities. As a result, international transactions in securities generated a net inflow of funds of $16.5 billion in the Canadian economy, according to Statistics Canada.

Canadian economic slowdown is not over

The Canadian economy is still slowing as the lagged impact of earlier interest rate increases materialize. Gross domestic product edged higher in Q4 2023 but once again not fast enough to keep up with surging population growth. Per-person output (a key indicator of household living standards) fell for a sixth straight quarter (by our count) and is back at 2016 levels, according to a recent RBC Macroeconomic Outlook report.

Insolvencies to remain high in Canada as economy plays catch-up: experts

Business insolvencies will likely remain elevated throughout 2024, experts said, as the economy plays catch-up after historically low levels during the pandemic.

A new path forward? China’s economic policy direction in the wake of the 2024 National People’s Congress and its implications for Canada

The National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s national legislature, met in early March 2024 to chart its annual policy direction. Following a period of uneven economic recovery, characterized by a multitude of challenges such as tepid consumer demand, a faltering property market, mounting deflationary pressures and a tense geopolitical environment, addressing the ailing Chinese economy took precedence at this year’s NPC. The 2024 NPC outcomes have significant implications for Canada.

If we ignore the benefits of the gig economy, we risk making it worse for everyone

As the world of work continues to transform, app-based platforms have created new opportunities for people and businesses across Canada to participate in the economy, supplement traditional income streams, or reach new customers. As a result, we simply cannot ignore the multiple benefits the gig economy has brought to our lives.

New vehicle inventories in Canada at record high: AutoTrader

Four years after a global pandemic and lockdowns drove the automotive industry into a brick wall, with major supply chain kinks and withered car lot inventories, things are back to normal, in terms of inventory, according to AutoTrader.

Pension funds are Canada’s ‘crown jewels.’ Should they invest more at home?

Signals that Ottawa wants more domestic investment from Canadian public pension funds are being amplified by some members of the business community who argue there’s more these large pools of capital can do to boost Canada’s economy. But the pension plans themselves are pushing back against suggestions that anyone in government should dictate how they invest Canadians’ retirement savings.

On economic vision, Alberta leads the country as B.C. falls behind

Chris Gardner, CEO of the Independent Contractors and Businesses Association and president of ICBA British Columbia and Mike Martens, president of ICBA Alberta discuss the contrasting economic visions of the two premiers’ in the provinces.

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