Weekly Digest – 31 January 2024

Getting caught up on a week that got away? Here’s your weekly digest of some stories relevant to business and the economy.

Interest rates may have peaked – is it time to jump into the housing market?

After the Bank of Canada gave its clearest hints yet that its interest rate cycle might have peaked, some real estate experts are expecting hope for lower borrowing costs will set up a busy spring housing market.

Canadian dollar to ‘fade back’ on slowing economy and strong greenback

Karl Schamotta, chief market strategist at Corpay, talks with Financial Post’s Larysa Harapyn about how the weakening economy, central bank rate cuts and possible victory of Donald Trump could affect the Canadian dollar.

Interest rate cuts are coming, but the Bank of Canada won’t say when

The Bank of Canada left its key overnight lending rate unchanged at five per cent on Wednesday, citing the persistence in underlying inflation and concerns that it might declare victory too soon and be forced to backtrack.  But the bank says it has shifted from whether rates are high enough to how long rates need to remain elevated.

Mortgage holders say they can make higher payments as Canadians cut spending

Bank of Canada survey finds Canadians are increasingly cutting back on spending while mortgage holders remain confident they can keep up with higher payments when their loans renew.

Canada stuck in ‘population trap,’ needs to reduce immigration, bank economists say

Canada is caught in a “population trap” and needs to rein in immigration significantly to escape it, according to a Monday report from National Bank of Canada economists, part of an emerging consensus that explosive growth is exacerbating some of the country’s economic troubles

Canada hit technical recession in 2023, small business group forecasts

Canada’s economy hit a technical recession at the end of 2023 and will continue to struggle to grow in the new year, according to forecasts from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Bank of Canada rate hikes hurt the economy, say 90% of business leaders in survey

The Bank of Canada’s rate hikes have put the brakes on the nation’s economy, according to 90 per cent of senior business leaders recently surveyed by Chartered Professional Accountants Canada.

Business Outlook Survey—Fourth Quarter of 2023

The Bank of Canada’s Business Outlook Survey and the Business Leaders’ Pulse for Q4 2023 show that softer demand and renewed competitive pressures are slowly pushing down growth in output prices. Concerns about labour shortages are receding; even so, wage growth is expected to ease only gradually. Partly because of this slow easing, firms expect inflation to remain above the Bank of Canada’s 2% target for some time.

$7.1-billion in CERB and CRB overpayments still being collected, Globe analysis finds

The federal government has asked Canadians to return $11.2-billion in overpayments it made through the two largest pandemic income-support programs for individuals, an analysis by The Globe and Mail has found. As of the end of September, according to the analysis, Canadians had paid back $4.1-billion worth of both benefits – the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). Another $7.1-billion in assessed overpayments are still under collection.

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