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Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday defended the central bank as inflation spikes to a three-decade high and the frontrunner to take over the opposition Conservative Party pledges to fire the Bank of Canada governor if elected, Reuters reported. "It is clear to us all that we are living through a period of global volatility. We have COVID. We have the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We have China's zero-COVID policy," Freeland told reporters by teleconference from Munich, Germany after a G7 meeting.
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Business bankruptcies in Canada moved closer to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of 2022, jumping almost 34 per cent year-over-year in what some experts warn could be the start of a growing wave of failures, the Niagra Falls Review reported. There were 807 business bankruptcies and proposals in Q1, up from 733 in the previous quarter and 603 in the first quarter of 2021.
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Air Canada sees higher-margin business travel coming "quite close" to pre-pandemic levels by as early as September, in the latest encouraging sign for the once hard-hit sector, a top executive told Reuters. Globally, business travel has lagged leisure in bouncing back from a COVID-19-induced slump, but airlines say it is now rebounding in North America as offices reopen and COVID restrictions ease. Corporate travel is important for airlines because of demand from frequent flyers and appetite for higher-margin premium fares.
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The Bank of Canada's policy rate, at 1%, is "too stimulative" given soaring inflation and needs to return to more neutral levels "quickly," an official said on Thursday, while downplaying the likelihood of a supersized increase, Reuters reported. Deputy Governor Toni Gravelle, speaking to economists in Montreal, also said the central bank would likely revise up its near-term inflation projections, as the "perfect storm" of global and domestic price increases continue to persist.
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Canada’s labor market stalled even as the jobless rate fell to a new record low, hampered by a dearth of new workers, Bloomberg News reported. The economy added 15,300 jobs in April, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa, fewer than half the 40,000 gain anticipated by economists. The small increase ended a surge that saw Canada create about 410,000 jobs over the previous two months. The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% in April -- the lowest in data going back to 1976 -- as the economy failed to produce any new growth in the labor force.
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Canada's trade surplus with the world narrowed to C$2.49 billion in March from February, missing analyst expectations, as imports rose more than exports, and February's surplus was revised up, data from Statistics Canada showed on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Despite the miss, the data was broadly positive for Canada's economy, as exports surged to a fresh high and record imports pointed to buoyant consumer demand, said economists. Two-way auto trade was also strong, a sign supply-chain woes are easing.
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Global supply chain problems look to set to worsen, a new report published on Tuesday said, as China's COVID-19 lockdowns, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and other strains cause even longer delays at ports and drive up costs, Reuters reported. The study by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) found that one-fifth of the global container ship fleet was currently stuck in congestion at various major ports.
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Canada plans to give itself the power to seize the assets of sanctioned Russian individuals and companies and use them to compensate victims of the war in Ukraine, Bloomberg News reported. The new measures will be included in the government’s budget legislation, meaning they are almost certain to pass in parliament by summer. Foreign Minister Melanie Joly said the law will be the first of its kind in the Group of Seven. Canada has now sanctioned more than 1,100 Russian individuals and companies since President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
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The Canadian dollar will remain at the center of the country's financial system, the central bank chief said on Monday, responding to questions about a Conservative leadership candidate's pledge to make the country the blockchain capital of the world, Reuters reported. "There are promising benefits from innovation in the financial sector. Having said that, we certainly expect the Canadian dollar will remain at the center of the Canadian financial system," Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in testimony before a committee of the House of Commons.
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Canada's annual inflation rate accelerated faster than expected in March, hitting a 31-year high amid broad price pressures, official data showed on Wednesday, pointing toward another oversized rate hike from the Bank of Canada in June, Reuters reported. The headline rate hit 6.7% in March, well above analyst expectations of 6.1% and a full percentage point higher than in February. It was the 12th consecutive month above the central bank's 1-3% control range and just short of the 6.9% hit in January 1991.
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