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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Business & the Economy

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  #1  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2010, 2:00 PM
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The Vancouver Business Thread

I’ve been wanting to start this thread to quite some time, and given the recent discussion in some threads I have been spurred into starting it. This is a thread to discuss any business news and development in Vancouver and BC, since the two are inexplicitly related. Please feel free to post any news articles, forecasts, opinions or information regarding Vancouver firms or industries.

Also since this is a real estate forum try to keep the discussion of actual projects, despite the fact that they are indeed business, to the appropriate thread. I envision this thread more for all of the businesses which make up Vancouver's economy that are not already covered here.

Also if a mod feels its worthy I think this kind of topic should be stickied.
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2010, 2:03 PM
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Quote:
Osisko Mining to buy Brett Resources in $372-million stock deal
By The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Osisko Mining Corp. (TSX:OSK) plans to acquire Hammond Reef gold project in Ontario through the friendly takeover of Brett Resources Inc. of Vancouver (TSXV:BBR) in an all-stock deal valued at $372 million.

Brett's shareholders would own about 11 per cent of Osisko if they accept the friendly offer, announced Monday.

Osisko is offering 0.34 of one of its common shares for each share of Brett. Based on Friday's closing stock prices, Osisko's offer is worth $2.92 per share - a premium to Brett's market price of $2.09 on the TSX Venture Exchange.

Osisko's primary property is the Canadian Malartic gold project in Quebec, which is scheduled for start-up in the second quarter of 2011 with production of 688,000 ounces of gold in 2012.

Brett's Hammond Reef gold project near Thunder Bay, Ont., has the potential to add 463,000 ounces of gold production per year, initially.

"Osisko is very pleased to make this offer to the shareholders of Brett to join us in our quest towards creating Canada's newest premier mid-tier gold producer," Osisko chief executive Sean Roosen said in a statement.

"The addition of potential future production from the Hammond Reef project to Canadian Malartic could well see us become a million ounce per year producer within five years."

Ron Netolitzky, chairman of Brett, said the company's board and management is in full and unanimous support of the offer from Osisko, which is conditional on at least two-thirds of Brett's shares being tendered.

"Hammond Reef has been a company changing asset for Brett, and our team has progressed the property through the value creation chain to the point where it has garnered what we feel is the necessary attention of a serious partner to help us take it forward to potential development," Netolitzky said.

"By combining forces with the industry leading team from Osisko, we feel that we are offering the shareholders of Brett the opportunity to maximize value through our combined efforts."

Brett's board has agreed to pay Osisko a $17.5-million termination fee if the transaction isn't completed in certain circumstances. The equivalent of 19.6 per cent of Brett's shares have been tendered so far.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b221876319
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  #3  
Old Posted Mar 22, 2010, 2:05 PM
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Haemacure sale of assets to Angiotech clears another hurdle
By The Canadian Press

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MONTREAL - Quebec's superior court has given its approval for Haemacure Corp. (TSX:HAE) to sell its assets to Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (TSX:ANP).

Haemacure, a medical technology developer based in Montreal, filed for bankruptcy in January in Canada and the United States.

It has already received approval for the plan from the U.S. court.

Vancouver-based Angiotech, a secured creditor, agreed to provide financing for both the insolvency proceedings and Haemacure's daily operations.

Angiotech and Haemacure partnered last year to develop Haemacure's sealant and thrombin products for use in surgeries and other medical procedures.

The asset sale is expected to be completed before April 19.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b223916226
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2010, 2:20 AM
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Big Stick Media fiscal 2009 loss narrows to $2.2 million from $3.9 million
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Big Stick Media Corp. said Monday its full-year loss narrowed to $2.2 million versus a loss of $3.9 million in 2008.

The Vancouver-based sports media company did not report per share data and revenue.

It said the loss for the 12-month period ended Nov. 30 included non-cash items such as writedowns on asset impairments, amortization expenses, stock option costs, accredited interest expense, income tax recoveries, losses on asset dispositions and net foreign exchange gains losses.

Big Stick Media (TSXV:BSM) owns and operates sports media assets, including websites, client-server software, publications, television and radio shows and call centres.

Shares of the company last traded Friday at the Toronto Stock Exchange at 8.5 cents.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b222150121
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  #5  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2010, 2:21 AM
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Reserves at jointly owned Donlin Creek project increase to 33.6M ounces: NovaGold
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Higher gold reserves are being reported at the Donlin Creek project in Alaska, jointly owned by NovaGold Resources Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp., as a result of a new price estimates and additional drilling results.

NovaGold (TSX:NG) said Monday the analysis raises reserve estimates 15 per cent to 33.6 million ounces of gold.

NovaGold said its 50 per cent interest in the mine totals 16.8 million ounces of gold reserves, with an additional 2.1 million ounces of measured and indicated resources and 2.2 million ounces of inferred resources.

The reserves and resources have been estimated using long-term gold price assumptions of $825 and $900 per ounce, respectively, NovaGold said. It also includes additional drilling results as well as an increase in long-term gold price assumptions.

The increase in reserves is expect to extend the mine's producing life by four years to 25 years.

Donlin Creek is one of the largest known undeveloped gold deposits in the world. Vancouver-based NovaGold owns precious metals projects in the U.S. and British Columbia, while Barrick (TSX:ABX) is the world's largest gold producer with mines in Canada, the U.S., Peru, Argentina, Chile, Tanzania, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Shares in NovaGold fell six cents to $7.50 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Barrick shares lost 37 cents to $39.77.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b221077216
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  #6  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2010, 3:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftCoaster View Post
I’ve been wanting to start this thread to quite some time, and given the recent discussion in some threads I have been spurred into starting it. This is a thread to discuss any business news and development in Vancouver and BC, since the two are inexplicitly related. Please feel free to post any news articles, forecasts, opinions or information regarding Vancouver firms or industries.

Also since this is a real estate forum try to keep the discussion of actual projects, despite the fact that they are indeed business, to the appropriate thread. I envision this thread more for all of the businesses which make up Vancouver's economy that are not already covered here.
This is a great idea, Thanks Leftcoaster
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  #7  
Old Posted Mar 23, 2010, 6:03 AM
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Yes, thanks Leftcoaster...great idea!!
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  #8  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2010, 3:04 AM
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No problem guys... hopefully some people have a use for it. And please post articles or anything when you run across them.

I will mainly be posting Canadian Business articles because I read them daily on my blackberry on the way to school... I'll try and throw some variety in when I can which will mainly be economist articles and the globe and mail, when i have the time to read them.
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  #9  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2010, 3:05 AM
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Cummins Westport gets contract in India to supply 460 natural gas engines
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER Cummins Westport Inc., a Canadian-based supplier of alternative fuel engines, is the beneficiary of some economic stimulus spending in India.

The company, a joint venture of Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT) and U.S.-based Cummins Inc. (NYSE:CMI), said Wednesday that its affiliate in India has received purchase orders for 460 natural gas engines.

The B Gas Plus and B Gas International engines, powered by compressed natural gas, are licensed by Cummins Westport and manufactured by the affiliate, Cummins India Ltd.

"India continues to build its world leading eco-friendly transit fleet," Cummins Westport president Roe East said in a news release.

"We are seeing orders from new customers in the region who have recognized our natural gas engines as best in class. Helping increase natural gas engine proliferation, the Indian government is getting behind the push for emission reductions with stimulus funding."

The New Delhi government unveiled a transport stimulus package in February 2009, to provide central funding to purchase buses for urban transport systems.

India's Ministry of Urban Development is providing financial assistance for purchasing public transport buses as part of a national effort to reduce the use of private vehicles and control congestion.

According to NGVAmerica, the New Delhi Natural Gas Vehicle Program has halved the air pollution in India's capital compared with 10 years ago.

Westport Innovations shares were up 20 cents at $16.95 in early afternoon trading Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Cummins Inc. shares were up 14 cents at $62.49 on the New York Stock Exchange.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b243200423
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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2010, 1:11 PM
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Lululemon reports $28.4 million profit, higher sales in Q4
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Lululemon Athletica Inc. (TSX:LLL) says its profit more than doubled in its latest quarter, rising to $28.4 million or 40 cents per share from $10.9 million or 16 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

The specialty clothing retailer's revenue also improved, rising to $160.6 million from $103.9 million.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b254146926
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  #11  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2010, 1:50 PM
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Originally Posted by LeftCoaster View Post
Stock up 11% this morning after a few weeks of good gains.
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  #12  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2010, 1:59 AM
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It's too bad Lionsgate moved most of their operations to LA... would be nice to have a legitimate Canadian studio.

Quote:
Lions Gate pulls out of bidding for MGM after being asked to up bid
By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - Lions Gate Entertainment has pulled out of the bidding for the beleaguered Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio after it was told its acquisition offer was inadequate and was asked to raise it.

That's according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the bids are meant to be confidential.

The person says Canadian-American Lions Gate was not prepared to pay more than its bid of between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion and pulled out of the process.

The withdrawal, reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, means Time Warner's bid to acquire the iconic Hollywood studio for $1.5 billion may be MGM's best chance to avoid foreclosure by its creditors.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b255936231
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  #13  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2010, 7:31 AM
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Globe 2010 'green-business' conference opens in Vancouver

Don't think this conference is anything new, but I didn't know that there were that many participants.

The CBC Show Dragon's Den is doing auditions for their upcoming shows at the trade show on Friday, I believe.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1510897/

Quote:
Globe 2010 'green-business' conference opens in Vancouver

David Ebner
Vancouver, BC — Globe and Mail update
Published on Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2010 3:27PM EDT

The City of Vancouver announced another green initiative Wednesday morning as it works to become the world's greenest city by 2020. Mayor Gregor Robertson was speaking at the opening of the Globe 2010, the biennial conference and trade show billed as the continent's largest and most important green-business gathering.

Mayor Robertson unveiled a program called the Corporate Climate Leaders Program. Working with Climate Smart, a Vancouver-based group created by Ecotrust Canada, the city will help businesses save money by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and tell their customers about it.

“If you're a Vancouver business and you want to go green, city hall is ready to partner with you to make it happen,” said Mayor Robertson.

Mayor Robertson was speaking on a panel to a packed conference hall that also featured Frank Wouters, the chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi's renewable power company which, Mr. Wouters announced, is looking to invest some of a new $265-million (U.S.) green fund in North American companies.

“We're exploring,” Mr. Wouters said in an interview after the panel discussion.

Abu Dhabi has already invested $250-million in clean technology, mostly in small chunks and often in solar power. However, no money has yet been put into companies in Canada or the United States, and Mr. Wouters said he wants to partner with local companies.

“We would not go alone,” said Mr. Wouters, who added that part of the strategy is to connect with expertise that can benefit Abu Dhabi.

B.C. has numerous companies involved in solar and wind, two areas in which Abu Dhabi has particular interest.

Globe 2010 – celebrating its 20th anniversary – takes place Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and is expected to attract more than 10,000 participants from almost 100 countries.

The range of participants runs from large companies such as General Electric Co. and oil sands developer Cenovus Energy to many small firms and numerous governments, including many Canadian provinces and European countries.

Abu Dhabi's Masdar Power is the lead sponsor of Globe 2010, aiming to greatly increase its profile in North American green circles.

Abu Dhabi is one of the emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates in the Persian Gulf and is the seat of the Emirati royal family and the UAE's government. Abu Dhabi is working to build a clean-technology hub in the city, to complement its massive oil holdings. Unlike the better-known emriate of Dubai, which has no significant oil and is building an international business and financial centre, Abu Dhabi controls roughly 10 per cent of the planet's oil reserves.

Atop Abu Dhabi's green ambitions is “Masdar City,” a totally green city to be built outside Central Abu Dhabi near the city's airport. Masdar City “aims to be the world's first zero carbon, zero waste, purpose-built modern city,” according to Abu Dhabi marketing material.

The city's hub would be a science and technology institute, with the goal of establishing a clean-technology cluster. To attract businesses, Masdar City will be a “special economic zone” where there will be no taxes, either for corporations, individuals or imports.
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  #14  
Old Posted Mar 29, 2010, 1:28 PM
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^ Cool stuff, I hope more BC entrepreneurs can get involved in green tech... there's a ton of money in it.

Quote:
Dragon Pharmaceutical signs deal to be taken private by chairman and CEO
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Dragon Pharmaceutical Inc. (TSXDD) said Friday it has signed a deal to be taken private by its chairman and chief executive Yanlin Han.

Han, who is the company's largest shareholder with a 37.95 per cent stake, will pay 82 cents per share for the share he does not already own.

The deal values the company at about $55 million.

The offer Friday tops an offer Han made in January of 80 cents per share.

Dragon Pharmaceutical is a manufacturer and distributor of a broad line of antibiotic products.

Shares in the company were down two cents at 62 cents on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b264784528
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  #15  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 1:24 AM
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Jim Pattison increases stake in lumber producer Canfor as company buys shares
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Jim Pattison has increased his stake in lumber producer Canfor Corp. to roughly 31 per cent with the acquisition of 104,700 by Great Pacific Capital Corp.

Pattison said the acquisition brings the total holdings of Great Pacific to 17,761,550 shares of Canfor. Great Pacific together with Great Pacific Industries Inc. and 4123221 Canada Inc., two other companies owned by Pattison, hold 44.2 million shares of Canfor.

"The shares of Canfor have been purchased and are presently being held for investment purposes," Pattison said in a statement.

Canfor shares closed down three cents at $9.32 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Monday.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b292723222
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Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 1:48 PM
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Vancouver ranked fifth among major cities for business competitiveness: report


By Gordon Hamilton, Vancouver SunMarch 31, 2010

Vancouver’s competitive advantage over the major cities of the United States has jumped significantly in the last two years, according to a report by international consultants KPMG.

Vancouver ranks fifth among 41 major international cities in terms of business competitiveness in the report Competitive Alternatives. Two years ago, Vancouver ranked No. 21. The KPMG report examines business competitiveness in 10 industrialized countries. Montreal ranks third and Toronto ranks sixth.

Vancouver’s nearest competitor, Seattle, ranks No. 29.

Of the 10 nations examined in the report, Canada ranked second only to Mexico. The Netherlands was No. 3 and the U. S. No. 8.

Glenn Mair, director of MMK Consulting in Vancouver, a co-author of the report, said in an interview that relatively lower labour, energy and tax costs in Canada were a large driver of the country’s competitive business environment.

Canada’s stronger dollar is not having that big an impact on business costs, Mair said, because of significantly lower costs for labour taxes and energy.

“Over the long term trend, what we see is labour costs in Canada have grown moderately relative to some other countries, particularly the U.S. in boom years. Energy costs in Canada continue to be reasonable or have actually improved compared to some other countries.

“And over the last 10 years, the tax environment in Canada has changed quite significantly with a whole variety of corporate income tax, capital tax and sales tax changes at the federal level and among many of the provinces.

“That has really re-shaped Canada’s tax environment from being a moderate to high tax country 10 years ago to actually being, relatively, one of the lower tax countries among the G7 countries today,” Mair said.

Much of Vancouver’s advantage stems from the overall Canadian advantage, but provincial corporate income tax cuts and the upcoming HST have helped improve the city’s business climate, Mair said.

Those benefits apply to smaller cities in the province, such as Prince George, he said, which as lower business costs than similarly-sized Western U.S. cities. The study also compared 71 other cities with smaller populations.

The study is forward-looking, he said. It measures the costs of establishing a new business in each place over a 10-year time horizon, which accounts for the HST advantage showing up in the report. The business benefit of the HST, which comes into effect in July, is that it is a refundable value-added tax. Mair said all other nations in the survey have refundable value-added tax for businesses, except the U.S. which has non-refundable value added taxes.

The Canadian business advantage boosted Montreal, which was No. 2, and Toronto, which was No. 6.

The survey was among cities with a population over two million in the 10 nations surveyed.

The study uses the four largest U.S. cities, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth to form a baseline of business costs against which business costs in other countries and cities are compared. Those average costs in those four cities are given a value of 100. Vancouver’s rating was 94.9.

Monterrey, Mexico, has the biggest costs advantage, with a score of 81.5. Tokyo, Japan, has the worst competitive advantage at 108.9.

The survey examines 26 cost components like labour, taxes, real estate and utilities.

KPMG managing partner Elio Luongo, said in a news release that Vancouver is positioned to grow because of Olympic Games exposure and growth in Asia. Having a competitive edge over other major other cities is an added advantage, he said.

ghamilton@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Source: Vancouver Sun
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  #17  
Old Posted Mar 31, 2010, 3:30 PM
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Interesting, I'm surprised Vancouver is so low compared to its US counterparts given its high consumable and land costs, but I guess it is more than offset by favourable corporate taxe rates?

Some small business consolidation in Vancouver:
Quote:
Premium Brands pays $5.6 million for 80 per cent of Duso's pasta business
By The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - Premium Brands Holdings Corporation (TSXBH) is acquiring an 80 per cent interest in Duso's Enterprises Ltd., a Vancouver-based maker of fresh pastas and sauces, from the founders in a $5.6-million cash, stock and debt transaction.

The payment consists of $4 million in cash, 69,252 shares of Premium Brands and a $600,000 note that's due in three years.

Premium Brands will also help Duso's fund the purchase of approximately $1.0 million in state-of-the-art pasta making equipment.

"This transaction is based on our strategy of offering successful entrepreneurs customized ownership solutions that address their estate planning needs while also providing their business with the resources needed for continued growth," said George Paleologou, the president and chief executive of Premium Brands.

"Founders Mauro and George Duso have done an exceptional job building Duso's from the ground up and we are very pleased to become Mauro's partner as his brother George nears retirement later this year."

Premium Brands is a producer, marketer and distributor of branded specialty food products.

Its family of brands include Grimm's, Harvest, McSweeney's, Bread Garden Express, Hygaard, Hempler's, Quality Fast Foods, Gloria's Best of Fresh, Harlan's, Creekside Bakehouse, Centennial Foodservice and B&C Foods

Premium Brands has operations in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Washington State.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b312388321
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 1, 2010, 12:50 PM
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Ivanhoe's investment agreement with Mongolian government takes effect
By The Canadian Press
ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia - An investment agreement between Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) and the Mongolian government for a massive copper and gold project has taken full legal effect.

Mongolia announced Wednesday that procedural and administrative conditions in the agreement had been satisfied and that it will take effect immediately.

The agreement, signed in October, will see the Mongolian government take a 34 per cent interest in the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold project.

Ivanhoe owns the other 66 per cent and international mining giant Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE:RTP) also holds a stake through its ownership of about 22 per cent of Ivanhoe. Rio Tinto holds options to increase that stake to 46.6 per cent over the next 19 months.

Ivanhoe said the finalized agreement "creates a stable and long-term regulatory, fiscal and legal environment for the project."

"After nine years of discoveries at Oyu Tolgoi, a big piece of the future of copper and gold in Asia is poised to become a reality," said Ivanhoe executive chairman Robert Friedland.

"With this investment agreement taking full effect, we now have a long-term partnership and a definitive blueprint to start building that future at Oyu Tolgoi," Friedland said.

Ivanhoe and Rio Tinto have approved a US$758-million budget to launch full-scale construction of Oyu Tolgoi by the second quarter of this year. Commercial production is expected to begin in 2013.

In addition to Oyu Tolgoi, Ivanhoe has interests in coal, gold and copper resources in Mongolia, Australia and Kazakhstan.

Shares in Ivanhoe gained 39 cents or 2.25 per cent to $17.71 in early afternoon trading Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b312976123
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 5, 2010, 4:14 PM
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Fronteer, Teck plan $2.7-million drilling plan at copper, gold project in Turkey
By The Canadian Press
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VANCOUVER, B.C. - Fronteer Development Group Inc. (TSX:FRG) says a $2.7-million drill program is planned for this year at Halilaga, a copper and gold deposit in northwestern Turkey.

The project is a joint venture between Fronteer and a subsidiary of Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B), which owns 60 per cent of the venture and is the project operator.

TMST, the Teck subsidiary, previously conducted an 18-hole drilling program from September to mid-January and plans to begin additional drilling in June, Fronteer said. A first resource estimate for the project is expected by the end of 2010.

Fronteer's other holdings are gold projects in Nevada.

"Halilaga provides Fronteer with real upside exposure to a significant copper-gold project in a district with excellent infrastructure," Mark O'Dea, Fronteer's president and CEO, said in a statement.

"Porphyry copper-gold deposits have become an increasingly important part of global gold production because of their size, long mine life and strong cash flow potential."
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/mark...ent=b052820622
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2010, 3:58 PM
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Vancouver to lead economic growth in 2010

Financial Post April 7, 2010 8:50 AM

OTTAWA — The Olympic flame will continue to contribute to the healthy glow in Vancouver’s economy through the rest of this year, with the boost from the Winter Games helping it outpace all other Canadian cities in terms of economic growth, a report said Wednesday.

The Olympics pumped an estimated $600 million into the West Coast city’s economy, the Conference Board of Canada said in its Metropolitan Outlook — Spring 2010, which forecasts growth for 13 Canadian cities.

“The Olympic Games provided a big, even if temporary, boost to retail trade, arts, entertainment and recreation, accommodation, and food services in Vancouver. All in all, the Olympics injected about $600 million into the Vancouver economy, lifting growth by about 0.8 percentage points,” said Mario Lefebvre, director of the Conference Board’s Centre for Municipal Studies. “On top of that, demand for new homes in Vancouver began to recover at the end of last year and that momentum has carried over into the first couple months of 2010.”

Halifax, the only city in the board’s survey to have posted GDP growth amid the economic downturn last year, will move to the middle of the pack this year, with growth of 2.5 per cent, as larger cities benefit from a recovery in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and — in 2010 at least — continued federal stimulus spending, the board said.

Toronto, which was particularly hard-hit by the recession, and Hamilton, Ont., will take second and third place behind Vancouver. The board forecasts 3.7 per cent growth in Canada’s largest city, and 3.3 per cent in Hamilton, which will not be quite enough for a full recovery from the 4.5 per cent decline in 2009.

Victoria is in fourth place, with forecasted growth of 3.2 per cent in 2010 based on renewed demand in the services sector, increased consumer spending and recovery in construction and manufacturing.

Edmonton rounds out the Top 5 for 2010, with construction growth leading it to a 2.9 per cent increase in GDPthis year.

The board warns that Ottawa-Gatineau’s 2.8 per cent growth this year will slow in 2011 as a federal government spending freeze takes hold.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Source: Vancouver Sun


And apparently Canada's growth has been outpacing the other G7 countries...

Quote:
Canada ‘enthusiastic rebound’ best in G7, OECD says

OTTAWA — Canada’s economy is blowing its G7 peers out of the water in terms of the speed and strength of its economic recovery, says a new outlook from a leading international organization.

The Paris-based Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation says Canada’s economy likely grew 6.2 per cent in the first quarter of this year, well ahead of the 1.9 per cent overall growth estimated for the other G7 countries.

And the 30-member organization, representing the world’s advanced nations including the G7, says Canada’s economy will continue to expand in the second quarter — the March-June period — at 4.5 per cent, about twice the G7 average.

“Canada is benefiting from its past good policies, in spite of the fact that Canada was severely hit through trade ...from south of the border,” said OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan.

The United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Italy, Germany and France are the other G7 countries. Brazil, China, India and Russia aren’t currently full members of the OECD, despite the growing international importance of their economies.

Padoan noted that Canada had entered the recession with stronger fundamentals than its peers, in terms of growth, its banking sector and governmental fiscal position. Canada’s debt relative to its economy is the lowest in the G7.

The Canadian economy grew at a surprisingly strong five-per-cent clip during the last three months of 2009, and kept going in January with a 0.6 per cent monthly advance that surprised analysts.

As a result, several private sector economists have revised upwards their forecast for Canadian growth in the first half of this year, but few have put growth above six per cent in any quarter.

However, economists have cautioned that Canada’s economic growth will likely slow down, noting the Bank of Canada is expected to raise interest rates in June or July, which could reduce domestic borrowing and spending.

Overall, the OECD said it was moderately optimistic about the global economic picture, with the emerging economies experiencing strong growth that is pulling industrialized countries along.

“The bottom line is that the recovery is taking hold slowly,” Padoan said at a news conference. “Industry production is bouncing back strongly, business confidence is rebounding (and) that is extremely encouraging.”

Other encouraging developments are that financial conditions are improving and global trade has rebounded from the fall-off during the recession.

He said trouble spots remain, including high unemployment, which is only starting to peak in some countries.

The OECD study added that it expects growth in leading rich economies to slow somewhat after government stimulus programs is withdrawn.

Still, “overall it is an encouraging picture,” said Padoan.

The OECD forecast that U.S. gross domestic product would rise 2.4 per cent in the first quarter and 2.3 per cent in the second quarter, down from 5.6 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. Forecasts for Japan are 1.1 per cent and 2.3 per cent for the first two quarters of 2010, down from 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter 2009.

Germany’s economy probably shrank in the first quarter, however, due to a slump in construction activity. The OECD estimates Germany’s rate of economic was minus-0.4 per cent in the first quarter but will grow bounce to 2.8 per cent in the second quarter.

The OECD urged rich governments to end stimulus programs next year or earlier to avoid sinking deeper into debt. But it warned that they should do so gradually and carefully.

“Despite some encouraging signs on activity, the fragility of the recovery, a frail labour market and possible headwinds coming from financial markets underscore the need for caution in the removal of policy support,” the report said.

“Consolidation should start in 2011, or earlier where needed, and progress gradually so as not to undermine the incipient recovery.”
Source: Toronto Star

Last edited by Locked In; Apr 7, 2010 at 8:17 PM. Reason: added Toronto Star article
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