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Found 10 results

  1. Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2010/01/29/qc-charest-protests-india-asbestos.html#ixzz0e4r4XXPU
  2. Manufacturing activity at 26-year low NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- A key index of the nation's manufacturing activity fell to a 26-year low, sliding into recession territory, a purchasing managers group said Monday. The Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index tumbled to 38.9 in October from 43.5 in September. It was the lowest reading since September 1982, when the index registered 38.8. Economists were expecting a reading of 42, according to a survey conducted by Briefing.com. The tipping point for the index is 50, with a reading below that indicating contraction in manufacturing activity. The index has hovered around the 50 mark since September 2007, with an average of 49.1. A reading below 41 is considered a sign that the economy is in recession. "It appears that manufacturing is experiencing significant demand destruction as a result of recent events, with members indicating challenges associated with the financial crisis, interruptions from the Gulf hurricane, and the lagging impact from higher oil prices," said Norbert Ore, chairman of the Institute for Supply Management's Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, in a statement. Employment in the manufacturing sector fell for the third month in a row. ISM's employment measure registered 34.6 in October, down 7.2 points from September. It was the lowest reading for the employment component since March 1991, when it registered 33.6. The index component for the prices manufacturers pay for raw materials declined 16.5 points to a reading of 37 in the month. It was the lowest point for the component since December 2001 when the prices index registered 33.2. In a sign of growing economic weakness worldwide, the index's measure of export orders fell 11 points to a reading of 41. The decline came after 70 months of expansion. Rising exports had been a bright spot for U.S. manufacturers as the domestic economy deteriorates. But last month's decline suggests that struggling consumers overseas are losing their appetite for U.S. exports.
  3. Un très bon article du G&M ce matin sur la "résilience" de l'économie québécoise: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/few-bumps-in-la-belle-provinces-recession-ride/article1240146/ Few bumps in la belle province's recession ride At Sandoz Canada Inc. in Boucherville, Que., sales are rising and the work force is growing. The generic pharmaceutical producer's growth is more subdued than usual, to be sure. But this isn't the picture of a company struggling through a recession. And so goes Quebec, where the global slump has caused discomfort but not intense pain. The province's economy is contracting, but at nowhere near the pace of devastation as in other parts of Canada. This milder recession is seen in the job market, where employment has fallen just 0.7 per cent in the past year. And in the real estate market, where prices are stable. And at Sandoz, where revenue has climbed more than 10 per cent in the past year. “We've seen, over all, still some growth. And we've done some limited hiring,” said Pierre Fréchette, chief executive officer of the company, which opened a new factory in Boucherville last year. “We've been pretty sheltered from the situation outside of Canada, and outside Quebec.” For the country's second most populous province, it could have been a lot worse, even though the global crisis has struck hard at manufacturing and exports – two areas core to Quebec's economy. Thanks to export diversification, a real estate market that didn't overheat and sheer luck, the province that makes up 20 per cent of Canada's economic heft has fared much better than in past recessions. “The main industries of Quebec are not in restructuring mode. This is just a cyclical downturn,” said Sébastien Lavoie, economist at Laurentian Bank of Canada in Montreal. The most obvious example of the mild nature of the recession in Quebec is in the labour market. The 0.7-per-cent drop in employment in the past year compares with a 1.8-per-cent contraction nationally, and much larger declines in the other major provinces. Compared with previous recessions, Quebec workers have had it easy this time. The 1990s recession cut the provincial work force by 2.9 per cent, while the 1980s recession destroyed 7.4 per cent of jobs. Quebec's unemployment rate, now 8.8 per cent, is slightly above the national average (8.6 per cent), which is usual. But it is significantly below Ontario's 9.6 per cent. And most of Ontario's job losses have been full-time positions, while Quebec's are mainly part-time. Overall growth in Quebec contracted sharply in the first quarter, but, again, not as sharply as the country as a whole, nor as Ontario in particular. Indeed, Quebec's growth has outpaced Ontario since 2006 – a trend that is expected to persist into next year, and something that has not happened in decades. While Ontario and Quebec are often lumped together and characterized, fairly, as Canada's manufacturing heartland, the structure of Quebec's manufacturing sector has changed dramatically since the previous recession, analysts say. “Quebec has gone through a transformation,” said John Baldwin, director of the economic analysis division at Statistics Canada and one of Canada's top authorities on productivity. Free trade with the United States encouraged all of North America to shift from the manufacturing of non-durable goods to durable goods, to take advantage of economies of scale and growing global markets, according to a new paper by Mr. Baldwin. But Ontario's manufacturing and exports had always been concentrated in durable manufacturing – steel, cars, machinery and equipment. Quebec, on the other hand, was the centre of non-durable manufacturing for Canada, with its textiles and shoes. During the 1990s and especially in the past decade, Mr. Baldwin said, Quebec switched over, but expanded into areas where Ontario was not as dominant – aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Quebec had a painful adjustment, scaling back its textile sector and shutting down large parts of its pulp and paper industry in the past decade. But that restructuring is largely over, economists say. In this recession, like recessions of the past, manufacturing has suffered more than other sectors. But since Quebec does not have Ontario's dependence on U.S. consumption of cars, and is not as dependent on energy exports as the West, it has not been as vulnerable. About a third of Quebec's gross domestic product comes from exports, and 75 per cent of those exports go to the United States. But the U.S. market is far more important for Ontario because 42 per cent of the province's GDP comes from exports, and 84 per cent of its exports are sold to Americans. Sales of cars, mainly from Ontario, are down about 40 per cent so far this year. Quebec's aerospace sector has faltered too, recently, but not to the same extent. “We are not in the same situation as the auto sector,” said Joëlle Noreau, senior economist at Desjardins Group. But Quebec's recession is mild not simply because it avoided the crisis in the auto sector. It's also because export volumes have surged in other areas, especially in the pharmaceutical industry, rising 80 per cent so far this year from 2008. Most of that growth comes from generic drug companies taking advantage of expiring patents – a cycle that is not at all related to the global crisis, said Mr. Fréchette at Sandoz. “Obviously, we see pressure on our margins,” he said in an interview. “But our business is driven by very specific events. In general, the prospects are good.” While economists say they are tempted to point to clever business strategies and forward-thinking industrial policies as explanations for Quebec's mild recession, they are quick to say plain luck is a major factor, too. “We were blessed,” Ms. Noreau says. As Quebec's roads and bridges fell into disrepair a few years ago, the provincial government responded by investing heavily in infrastructure. Well before the recession started, the government earmarked $42-billion, or 14 per cent of GDP, for a five-year building plan. While other provinces are preparing to spend heavily, too, in a bid to fight off recession, Quebec's plan has already kicked into high gear, she said. Luck is also behind the stability in the housing market, said Marc Pinsonneault, senior economist at National Bank Financial. The prerecession runup in house prices was not nearly as notable in Quebec as in the West and Ontario, he said, so there was no bubble that needed bursting. Stable housing prices have meant that the net worth of many Quebeckers has not plunged as much as elsewhere, a trend that has added strength to the domestic side of the province's economy, Mr. Pinsonneault added. There are, of course, real fears that Quebec's luck could run out. The aerospace sector has stumbled in the past couple of months, and orders are drying up. Aerospace accounts for about a quarter of the province's exports, but sales typically respond to turns in the economy with an 18-month lag, said Jean-Michel Laurin, economist at the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters. Already, Bell Helicopter, a division of U.S.-based Textron Inc., announced 150 layoffs in July at its Montreal-area plant, linked to sagging demand for its products. In the refinery sector, Mr. Laurin adds, Royal Dutch Shell has warned that it could shut down its Montreal refinery that employs 550 people. The pharmaceutical industry will no doubt come under pressure as indebted governments around the world are pressured to cut health care costs in the coming years, to get their deficits under control. And the strong Canadian dollar is adding yet another burden to exporters' lists of problems, Mr. Laurin said. “Regardless of where you go in Quebec or Ontario, we're all very dependent on the U.S.”
  4. Quebec exports to jump 9% in 2015: EDC economist FRANÇOIS SHALOM, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from François Shalom, Montreal Gazette Published on: November 27, 2014Last Updated: November 27, 2014 8:00 AM EST The U.S. housing market will spur export growth in Quebec, says Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada The U.S. housing market will spur export growth in Quebec, says Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada AFP/Getty Images SHARE ADJUST COMMENT PRINT Smile wide, Quebec exporters. Peter Hall, chief economist of Export Development Canada, says that two key ingredients will brighten your lives for the next year or three: the U.S. economy and the weak Canadian dollar. “These two things are coming together to make this year and next very positive for Quebec exports,” Hall said in an interview. “The reason it’s a particularly good story is that Quebec does not have a very strong internal economy. Consumption is going to be weak because of high indebtedness levels.” The good part of the EDC forecast, made public Thursday, is that just as household debt is cutting into the consumption economy, the trade sector is taking over and is set to boom, compensating — and then some — for the spending shortfall. “So we’ve got to be the luckiest people on Earth,” Hall said. Traditional resource sectors like mining and forestry as well as aerospace will be key drivers of the export resurgence. And that resurgence will in turn be driven principally by the U.S. housing market, which has mounted a remarkable comeback from the ominous recession of 2008. “The rate of (U.S.) housing construction has doubled where it was during the crisis,” said Hall. “And the best is yet to come. They’re building now at the rate of 1 million (housing) units a year. But the economy itself is generating (demand for) 1.4 million new households every year. They’re 400,000 units a year behind where they need to be just to keep pace with basic demand.” “So the very minimum you can expect over the next two or three years of growth inside this market is 40 per cent.” “That’s very good news for Quebec lumber firms and for everything else that goes into houses being built — copper piping, wiring, 2-by-4s, asphalt, OSB (particle board used for flooring, roofing and walls) — you name it.” “And it doesn’t stop there. Once the house is completed, there’s all the stuff that goes into it; washers, dryers, stoves, fridges, floorings, furnishings.” Again, he noted, a major opportunity for metal producers, notably Quebec aluminum smelters. It all adds up to a projected eight-per-cent jump for Quebec exports this year and another nine per cent in 2015, he said. Aerospace exports will surge 10 per cent next year, thanks to the weak Canadian dollar and good demand internationally. “Quebec’s Bombardier is the major beneficiary of these positive international trends, and with their CSeries line expected to enter into service in late 2015, it will be a huge boon for Quebec’s aerospace industry for years to come,” said Hall. He praised Quebec’s comprehensive overhaul of government spending under Premier Philippe Couillard as vital to the future of the province’s economy. “It’s essential to ensuring competitiveness for the future. If you don’t have fiscal sustainability, it means a higher future tax liability and an uncertain policy environment. “We’ve long learned that this is very, very positive for the future economy. :thumbsup::thumbsup:
  5. Quebec businesses to feel pain Our exports set to slow. But local companies well-equipped to weather storm, experts say PAUL DELEAN, The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago It's shaping up to be a winter of discontent in corporate Quebec. Financial upheaval in the United States, Quebec's largest trading partner, has left a lot of companies feeling pinched and dreading the prospect of a full-fledged recession if the U.S. can't resolve its banking crisis. "Winter will be difficult for small and medium-size businesses that export to the U.S.," said former Caisse de Dépot et Placement executive Michel Nadeau, now director-general of the Institut sur la gouvernance d'organisations privées et publiques. "The U.S. economy is slowing. Clients there are squeezed on the credit front. They'll be buying less and wanting deals from their suppliers. And if there's no resolution of the current (bailout) impasse within the next two weeks, Quebec companies risk being being badly hurt." About 80 per cent of Quebec's exports go to the United States, where the credit crunch has put the brakes on consumer spending and ready lending. Suppliers of wood, automotive, industrial and consumer products were among the first to feel the pain. "For businesses selling to the U.S., it's definitely going to have an effect in terms of the revenues they can generate," said Susan Christoffersen, associate professor at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management. "So much of the Canadian economy is correlated with the U.S." Jayson Myers, president of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, said many U.S. clients have stopped paying on time, leaving Canadian suppliers "holding the bag." "There's a lot of real concern (among members)," he said. "Conditions had been tightening for three or four months before all this. There was not a lot of profit margin out there to absorb all these shocks." A couple of factors have helped alleviate the blow so far for Quebec businesses. Most have made adaptations in the past two years to become more productive and efficient to cope with the impact of higher commodity prices and a rapidly rising Canadian dollar. And that same dollar has retreated about 15 per cent from its high, to around 94 cents (U.S.) yesterday, making Quebec exports more competitive. Yvon Bolduc, president and chief executive of the Quebec Federation of Labour's Solidarity Fund, said Quebec companies are better prepared for the current crisis than they were for the one in which the Solidarity Fund was created 25 years ago. "For many years, we were competitive because of the dollar. We surfed on its weakness," he said. Despite the strong loonie and credit markets that were already tighter because of last year's financial debacle, asset-backed commercial paper, the private companies in which the Solidarity Fund is invested actually posted a positive return in the latest fiscal year, Bolduc said. The Solidarity Fund provides companies with capital to help them expand and adapt. At a time when other lenders might be unreceptive, it can be a lifeline. Last year, it provided $730 million to 140 companies. That was $120 million more than it had budgeted, Bolduc said. While exporting companies clearly are most vulnerable to a U.S. pullback, there are also signs of a spending slowdown at home as Canadian consumers grow more cautious. Clothing retailers have seen flat to lower sales in recent quarters, and Canadian housing sales and prices have begun to slip. The Quebec economy figures to get some ongoing lift, however, from the ambitious, multi-year infrastructure-renewal program undertaken by the Charest government. "What we have experienced so far is a banking crisis, not an economic crisis," said Simon Prévost, vice-president (Quebec) of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. "It could become an economic crisis, but we're not there yet." Prévost said there was actually an increase in business confidence in Quebec in the CFIB's last survey in early September, with oil prices and the dollar both declining, and Canadian financial institutions still eager to lend. "Small business owners didn't see any problems getting money from banks (at that time)," he said. "It's changed a little bit, but it's not a big deal yet." In the same survey, 34 per cent of businesses reported growing demand for their products. Fewer than 10 per cent said demand was down. [email protected]
  6. I'm waiting for the usual suspects to put a negative spin to this article... 2015-11-26 Cape Breton Post.com MONTREAL - A new forecast by the Canadian government's lending agency says Quebec's highly diversified economy is on track for a 10 per cent increase in exports this year and eight per cent growth in 2016. Export Development Canada says the continued growth is being led by strong international demand for aircraft and parts, which accounts for nearly 14 per cent of the total value of Quebec exports. EDC says those exports are expected to rise 33 per cent this year and another 17 per cent in 2016. Metals, ores and other industrial products make up the largest sector of Quebec exports are expected to rise five per cent this year and by six per cent growth next year. But the EDC says within this sector, iron ore exports remain depressed as a result of continued price weaknesses and the closure of Cliffs Natural Resources' Bloom Lake mine. "Quebec has a very vibrant aircraft and parts sector and not just the big companies such as Bombardier, CAE and Pratt & Whitney, but also the many smaller firms that supply them," said EDC chief economist Peter Hall. "Demand from around the world, including from emerging markets, has been very strong in 2015, and this will continue in 2016." The EDC also says strong U.S. housing starts are creating demand for lumber and this is helping to drive six per cent growth in exports by Quebec's forestry sector in 2015 and four per cent growth in 2016. The increase in lumber exports also helps to offset a decline in newsprint and pulp exports caused by non-tariff trade barriers in several countries and the closure of several Quebec mills. "Quebec is one of Canada's more diversified export economies, both in terms of what it sells and where it sells," said Hall. "That said, most of the growth this year and next will come from the United States, where the economy is showing no signs of slowing down."