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Found 22 results

  1. Malgré la menace de fermeture, les employés de l'entreprise de Trois-Rivières ont rejeté à 80% les dernières demandes de l'employeur, qui cherchait à obtenir des gains de productivité. Pour en lire plus...
  2. Corn-based ethanol: The negatives outweigh the positives JEFFREY SIMPSON From Wednesday's Globe and Mail July 30, 2008 at 7:58 AM EDT Canada's governments have done something really stupid in subsidizing corn-based ethanol, and requiring its increased use, but apparently cannot correct their mistake. As a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, corn-based ethanol is a poor option; as a farm subsidy program, it's also a poor bet. Making matters worse, corn-based ethanol takes corn-for-food out of production, and moves land from other kinds of production into corn, thereby adding to what are already rising food prices. Governments, here and in the U.S., thought they were doing great things for the environment and helping farmers, too. Ethanol policy was, to quote the Harper government, a "win-win." Actually, it was a lose-lose policy for all but corn producers, who, naturally enough, have rallied furiously to protect their good fortune. Many researchers have exposed the follies of subsidizing corn-based ethanol production, the latest being Douglas Auld, in an extremely well-documented paper for the C.D. Howe Institute. Mr. Auld has surveyed the research literature about the putatively beneficial effects of corn-based ethanol on replacing gasoline. The theory is that such ethanol produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline from a vehicle engine. Indeed, it does, but that simple statement ignores what energy is required to produce a litre of ethanol. When the so-called "lifecycle" of ethanol production is counted, Mr. Auld concludes (as have many others) that ethanol doesn't lower GHG outputs. Remember, too, that ethanol delivers less energy per litre than gasoline, so more litres of production are required to move a vehicle a certain distance. Mr. Auld, therefore, correctly concludes, "It is clear from the evidence to date that there is no consensus regarding the efficacy of corn-based ethanol either to reduce GHGs or reduce overall energy demands." But we aren't dealing with "evidence," rather with political optics from governments wanting to look "green" and from a desire to help farmers. And so, the Harper government replaced the previous special tax exemption for ethanol to a producer credit that will cost the country about $1.5-billion. To this sum were added loans, biofuel research grants plus mandatory ethanol content requirements. In other words, the government pushed up the supply of corn-based ethanol through subsidies, then pushed up the demand through regulation. Provinces got in on the act, offering producer credits and mandatory ethanol content requirements. Putting the provincial and federal policies together produced whopping advantages for ethanol of about $400-million a year. For such money, Canadians might expect at least some decline in greenhouse gas emissions. They will be disappointed. There will be few reductions, and Mr. Auld estimates that these might cost $368 a tonne - way, way higher than other per-tonne costs for eliminating carbon dioxide, the main climate-warming gas. By contrast, one part of the Harper government's proposed climate-change policy would see big companies that do not meet their intensity-based reduction targets paying $15 a tonne into a technology fund. World prices for carbon offsetting these days are about $30 a tonne. However, even if this form of ethanol is a climate-change bust, at least it's great for farmers. Not so fast. It's a boon to the corn producers, but to supply all the additional demand for ethanol, up to half the current farmland for corn will be used. As more land is diverted to corn for ethanol, there will be less corn for human and animal consumption. So whereas corn producers will gain, livestock producers will suffer. As their costs rise, so will the price of their products to consumers. It's wrong to blame the rush to ethanol for rising food prices here and abroad. Let's just say the rush contributes to the problem. Mr. Auld estimates that if you take the direct subsidies for ethanol production of $400-million a year, and add the costs of higher food to consumers, the wealth transfer to corn-based farmers could soon be about $800-million. It's the classic case of subsidies distorting markets: One group gains and mobilizes all of its resources to protect its gains, insisting these gains reflect the public good; whereas in reality almost everyone else loses but doesn't complain. So we have a silly policy with hundreds of millions of dollars going down the policy drain, achieving none of the objectives the politicians claimed.
  3. Les gains de productivité ont été révisés en nette hausse pour le deuxième trimestre aux États-Unis, à 4,3% à un rythme annuel, au lieu de 2,2% annoncé initialement. Pour en lire plus...
  4. Les dépenses de consommation vont passer d'une hausse de plus de 5% au début de cette année, à un taux annualisé, à une progression d'environ 2,6% en 2009. Pour en lire plus...
  5. Canada sees surprising job gains in August Financial Post September 4, 2009 Canada posted a surprising gain in employment in August as the economy showed signs that it was pulling out of a recession. Canada posted a surprising gain in employment in August as the economy showed signs that it was pulling out of a recession. Photograph by: File, AFP/Getty Images OTTAWA — Canada posted a surprising gain in employment in August as the economy showed signs that it was beginning to pull out of a recession. Statistics Canada said Friday that 27,100 positions were added during the month, compared with 44,500 losses in July. The unemployment rate edged up to 8.7 per cent in August from 8.6 per cent the previous month. The gains were led by part-time and private-sector employment, the federal agency said. There were 30,600 part-time jobs added in August, while 3,500 full-time positions were lost. Hardest hit was the manufacturing sector, which shed another 17,300 in August. The biggest gains were in the retail and wholesale trade, up 21,200, and finance and real estate, up 17,500. Six provinces saw employment rise, with the biggest increases in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Alberta lost the most jobs in August. "Since employment peaked in October 2008, total employment has fallen by 387,000 (down 2.3 per cent)," the agency said. "The trend in employment, however, has changed recently. Over the last five months, employment has fallen by 31,000, a much smaller decline than the 357,000 observed during the five months following October 2008." Most economists had expected the economy to lose jobs in August, with the consensus being about 15,000 fewer positions. They also expected the unemployment rate to rise to 8.8 per cent. "This report may not quite carry the good housekeeping seal of approval for the recovery, but it certainly is another big step in the right direction," said Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. "While we can quibble about the details, the broader picture here is that the labour market is stabilizing, and apparently much faster than in the U.S." (The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that 216,000 jobs were lost in August, although that was less than analysts had expected.) Charmaine Buskas, senior economics strategist at TD Securities, said "the fact that the (Canadian) unemployment rate continues to rise has a bit of a mixed messages, as the initial interpretation is negative, but suggests that workers are slowly becoming more encouraged by better prospects in the job market." "Ultimately, this report, while positive, is not going to have much impact on the Bank of Canada. It has already committed to keep rates on hold, and one month of good employment numbers is unlikely to sway the decision." Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC World Markets, said: "Half a loaf, or in this case, half a job, is better than none, so an increase in Canadian employment driven by part-time work is still an encouraging signpost of an economic recovery now underway." The employment report follows some mixed signals of an economic recovery in Canada. On Thursday, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development said Canada's economy will contract two per cent in the third quarter of 2009 before edging up 0.4 per cent in the final three months of the year. That's in contrast to forecasts by the Bank of Canada, which expects the country's gross domestic product to grow 1.3 per cent in the third quarter of this year, followed by a three per cent gain in the final three months of 2009. The central bank also forecast the economy will contract 2.3 per cent overall this year and grow three per cent in 2010. Last week, Statistics Canada reported GDP increased 0.1 per cent in June, even as the second quarter declined overall by 3.4 per cent. The outlook by OECD, a Paris-based group of 30 industrialized nations, shows Canada's recovery lagging along with the U.K., which is expected to decline one per cent in the third quarter and be flat in the final quarter, and Italy, which is forecast to shrink 1.1 per cent and grow 0.4 per cent, respectively. August unemployment rates by province: Newfoundland and Labrador 15.6% Prince Edward Island 13.7% Nova Scotia 9.5% New Brunswick 9.3% Quebec 9.1% Ontario 9.4% Manitoba 5.7% Saskatchewan 5.0%. Alberta 7.4% British Columbia 7.8% Source: Statistics Canada © Copyright © Canwest News Service
  6. No housing crash in Canada "In most eastern cities, builders continued to enjoy modest price gains." JAY BRYAN, The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago The latest data out of Canada's housing market demonstrate two things clearly: it's going through a significant slowdown, but, just as important, it's not following the U.S. market down the drain. The number of new homes started by Canadian builders in October was down, but only by three per cent, much less than expected by forecasters. So far this year, notes economist Paul Ferley at the Royal Bank, average monthly starts are down by less than five per cent compared with the plunge of 30 per cent seen in the U.S. Still, housing starts in Canada have been drifting down since they peaked at an annual rate of 277,000 two and a half years ago. The rate in October was 212,000. Market analysts believe that pent-up demand for homes has been increasingly satisfied over the past few years. As well, rising prices squeezed affordability for those looking for a first home. Now most analysts believe the construction decline will accelerate in the coming year, as a slowing economy puts more pressure on would-be buyers. Nevertheless, new-home prices as of September (these numbers take longer to compile), were holding up well, reflecting the same resilient demand that has kept home construction busy. A survey by Statistics Canada finds that average new-home prices across Canada were up by 2.1 per cent in September from a year earlier, although there's a lot of variation among major cities. The sharpest price changes were in cities with resource-based economies. In St. John's and Regina, where local booms have yet to peter out, prices were up by 23 per cent. But in Alberta, where an oilsands investment frenzy has cooled recently, gains have ended. In Calgary, the average new home price was down by one per cent. In Edmonton, it fell by six per cent. And after having soared higher than anywhere else in Canada, prices stalled in Vancouver (up 1.4 per cent) and Victoria (no change). In most eastern cities, builders continued to enjoy modest price gains, with the average new home up by 4.8 per cent in Montreal, three per cent in Toronto, 6.1 per cent in Quebec City and 4.3 per cent in Ottawa-Gatineau. There was a similar regional divide in housing starts, with British Columbia and Alberta down sharply from a year ago, while Atlantic Canada, Quebec and Ontario are up. As a slowing economy squeezes prices, it's likely to be the highest-priced markets that will show the most substantial price losses, suggested Douglas Porter, deputy chief economist at the Bank of Montreal. Canada's housing downturn is likely to be much milder than the one in the U.S. because it's fundamentally different, he said. The U.S. housing collapse stemmed from a home-price bubble whose collapse is taking down the whole economy, but the key influence on Canada's generally healthy market is merely the predictable drag from a North American recession. However, a few cities in Canada witnessed such big price gains that they're likely to sell off sharply, Porter said. When the latest resale prices for existing homes come out late this week, he expects to see continued drops in Canada's highest-priced cities: Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. In Quebec and Atlantic Canada, existing home prices have continued rising and should continue to hold up relatively well, he predicted, because their more modest growth remained tied to fundamentals like average incomes. As of September, the average Montreal resale price was up by 4.4 per cent from a year earlier, while Halifax was ahead 10 per cent. By contrast, Toronto was down three per cent, Calgary was off six per cent and Vancouver had lost eight per cent. [email protected]
  7. U.S. jobless rate climbs to 5.7% JEANNINE AVERSA The Associated Press August 1, 2008 at 12:19 PM EDT WASHINGTON — The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to a four-year high of 5.7 per cent in July as employers cut 51,000 jobs, dashing the hopes of an influx of young people looking for summer work. Payroll cuts weren't as deep as the 72,000 predicted by economists, however. And, job losses for both May and June were smaller than previously reported. July's reductions marked the seventh straight month where employers eliminated jobs. The economy has lost a total of 463,000 jobs so far this year. The latest snapshot, released by the Labour Department on Friday, showed a lack of credit has stunted employers' expansion plans and willingness to hire. Fallout from the housing slump and high energy prices also are weighing on employers. The increase in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, from 5.5 per cent in June, in part came as many young people streamed into the labour market looking for summer jobs. This year, fewer of them were able to find work, the government said. The unemployment rate for teenagers jumped to 20.3 per cent, the highest since late 1992. The economy is the top concern of voters and will figure prominently in their choices for president and other elected officials come November. The faltering labour market is a source of anxiety not only for those looking for work but also for those worried about keeping their jobs during uncertain times. Job losses in July were the heaviest in industries hard hit by the housing, credit and financial debacles. Manufacturers cut 35,000 positions, construction companies got rid of 22,000 and retailers shed 17,000 jobs. Temporary help firms — also viewed as a barometer of demand for future hiring — eliminated 29,000 jobs. Those losses swamped job gains elsewhere, including in the government, education and health care. In May and June combined, the economy lost 98,000 jobs, according to revised figures. That wasn't as bad as the 124,000 reductions previously reported. GM, Chrysler LLC, Wachovia Corp., Cox Enterprises Inc. and Pfizer are among the companies that have announced job cuts in July. GM Friday reported the third-worst quarterly loss in its history in the second quarter as North American vehicle sales plummeted and the company faced expenses due to labour unrest and its massive restructuring plan. On July 15, GM announced a plan to raise $15-billion (U.S.) for its restructuring by laying off thousands of hourly and salaried workers, speeding the closure of truck and SUV plants, suspending its dividend and raising cash through borrowing and the sale of assets. GM also said it would reduce production by another 300,000 vehicles, and that could prompt another wave of blue-collar early retirement and buyout offers. Meanwhile, Bennigan's restaurants owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group, are closing, driving more people to unemployment lines. All told, there were 8.8 million unemployed people in July, up from 7.1 million last year. The jobless rate last July stood at 4.7 per cent. More job cuts are expected in coming months. There's growing concern that many people will pull back on their spending later this year when the bracing effect of the tax rebates fades, dealing a dangerous blow to the fragile economy. These worries are fanning recession fears. Still, workers saw wage gains in July. Average hourly earnings rose to $18.06 in July, a 0.3 per cent increase from the previous month. That matched economists' expectations. Over the past year, wages have grown 3.4 per cent. Paycheques aren't stretching as far because of high food and energy prices. Other reports out Friday showed stresses as companies cope with a sluggish economy. Spending on construction projects around the country dropped 0.4 per cent in June as cutbacks in home building eclipsed gains in commercial construction, the Commerce Department reported. And, manufacturers' business was flat in July. The Institute for Supply Management's reading of activity from the country's producers of cars, airplanes, appliances and other manufactured goods hit 50, down from 50.2 in June. A reading above 50 signals growth. The news forced Wall Street to reassess its initial positive reaction to the jobs data. The Dow, which opened higher, slid about 80 points by midmorning. The Federal Reserve is expected to hold rates steady next week as it tries to grapple with duelling concerns — weak economic activity and inflation. In June, the Fed halted a nearly yearlong rate-cutting campaign to shore up the economy because lower rates would aggravate inflation. On the other hand, boosting rates too soon to fend off inflation could hurt the economy.
  8. La compagnie a fait savoir que ses profits ont chuté de 23% au deuxième trimestre en raison d'octroi d'options d'achat d'actions et après que les gains réalisés lors de la ventes d'actifs un an plus tôt eurent gonflé les résultats. Pour en lire plus...
  9. Small-town life looking good to boomers Statistics Canada report; Montreal Island is bleeding population to outlying regions, new studies show David Johnston, The Gazette Published: 2 hours ago The Montreal metropolitan region, once a magnet for people from the rest of Quebec, is now losing more people to the outlying regions than it is gaining, Statistics Canada reported yesterday. Leading the way in this U-turn in the province's demographic history is the restless pitter-patter of retiring baby boomers in the Montreal region. Many are cashing out of the local real estate market and buying cheaper properties in outlying towns, or simply moving back to their home towns in the regions. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are seeing some of the same boomer-fuelled trends. In Quebec, the chief beneficiaries have been Joliette and St. Jean sur Richelieu, both situated a short hop outside the Montreal metropolitan region. The two towns ranked among the 10 fastest-growing medium-sized towns in Canada from 2001 to 2006, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of 2006 census data made public yesterday. "All of our own studies confirm what Statistics Canada is saying," Daniel Desroches, town manager of St. Jean, said in an interview yesterday. Overall, the metropolitan region registered a net loss of 29,195 people to other regions of Quebec from 2001 to 2006. This loss represents the birth of a new trend. The Montreal region had registered an overall gain in intra-provincial migration from 1996 to 2001, although relatively minor, as well as major gains in the decades before that. Despite the losses from 2001 to 2006, immigration, or international migration, has more than compensated for the region's internal population losses to the rest of Quebec and Canada. "What we can say is that most of those people leaving for the rest of Quebec are moving to smaller towns - not larger cities like Quebec City and Sherbrooke that have their own census metropolitan areas," said Patrice Dion, an analyst in the demography division of StatsCan. Some towns that had relatively minor population gains from 2001 to 2006 have since begun to show signs of a vigorous new construction boom, real estate experts say. Lachute, for example, 80 kilometres northwest of Montreal, has awarded $19 million in new housing construction permits this year, double last year's total at this time, which was double the comparable total for the first six months of 2006. The StatsCan study made public yesterday also confirmed previous studies showing a slowdown in the so-called exodus of Quebecers to other provinces. The inter-provincial losses from 2001-06 were the lowest recorded in any five-year census period since 1971-76, Dion said. From 2001 to 2006, Quebec lost only 8,000 anglophones to other provinces - fewer than 2,000 a year, compared with up to 50,000 a year in the late 1970s. But as a StatCan study made public last December showed, new influxes of anglophones into Quebec from other countries between 2001 and 2006 slightly outnumbered the 8,000 losses, meaning English Quebec is growing today for the first time since the early 1970s. StatsCan also examined population movement within the Montreal metropolitan region. It looked at all the household moves from one municipality in the region to another and found clear winners and losers. The city of Montreal was a heavy loser, mainly to off-island suburbs. But Boisbriand, St. Joseph du Lac and Pointe Calumet, all off-island suburbs, were also big losers. The only town on Montreal Island with a net gain of population from other parts of the region was Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Beaconsfield and Dollard des Ormeaux suffered mild losses, as did Westmount and Montreal East. Off-island suburbs Longueuil, Oka and Ste. Anne des Plaines also suffered slight net losses. The one bright spot for the region was its net gain of 12,795 people in the 15-to-29 age group. These gains came from both the rest of Quebec and the rest of Canada. They reflect continuing poor job prospects in some outlying Quebec regions for young people as well as strong interest nationally in Montreal as a city for post-secondary studies, Dion said. [email protected] - - - montrealgazette.com - - - Not-So-Small Towns Small and medium-sized urban centres experienced significant population growth from 2001 to 2006, figures from the 2006 census show. Here are the urban centres that experienced the biggest gains from population shifts within Canada: City Province 1. Okotoks Alta. 2. Parksville B.C. 3. Grande Prairie Alta. 4. Wood Buffalo Alta. 5. Chilliwack B.C. 6. Vernon B.C. 7. Joliette Que. 8. Red Deer Alta. 9. St. Jean sur Richelieu Que. 10. Courtenay B.C. Other centres in Quebec in the Top 50 23. Drummondville 30. Granby 32. St. Georges (Beauce) 37. Sorel-Tracy 38. Victoriaville 44. Cowansville 49. Rivière du Loup 50. St. Hyacinthe source: statistics Canada
  10. Small-town life looking good to boomers Statistics Canada report; Montreal Island is bleeding population to outlying regions, new studies show David Johnston, The Gazette Published: 2 hours ago The Montreal metropolitan region, once a magnet for people from the rest of Quebec, is now losing more people to the outlying regions than it is gaining, Statistics Canada reported yesterday. Leading the way in this U-turn in the province's demographic history is the restless pitter-patter of retiring baby boomers in the Montreal region. Many are cashing out of the local real estate market and buying cheaper properties in outlying towns, or simply moving back to their home towns in the regions. Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary are seeing some of the same boomer-fuelled trends. In Quebec, the chief beneficiaries have been Joliette and St. Jean sur Richelieu, both situated a short hop outside the Montreal metropolitan region. The two towns ranked among the 10 fastest-growing medium-sized towns in Canada from 2001 to 2006, according to a Statistics Canada analysis of 2006 census data made public yesterday. "All of our own studies confirm what Statistics Canada is saying," Daniel Desroches, town manager of St. Jean, said in an interview yesterday. Overall, the metropolitan region registered a net loss of 29,195 people to other regions of Quebec from 2001 to 2006. This loss represents the birth of a new trend. The Montreal region had registered an overall gain in intra-provincial migration from 1996 to 2001, although relatively minor, as well as major gains in the decades before that. Despite the losses from 2001 to 2006, immigration, or international migration, has more than compensated for the region's internal population losses to the rest of Quebec and Canada. "What we can say is that most of those people leaving for the rest of Quebec are moving to smaller towns - not larger cities like Quebec City and Sherbrooke that have their own census metropolitan areas," said Patrice Dion, an analyst in the demography division of StatsCan. Some towns that had relatively minor population gains from 2001 to 2006 have since begun to show signs of a vigorous new construction boom, real estate experts say. Lachute, for example, 80 kilometres northwest of Montreal, has awarded $19 million in new housing construction permits this year, double last year's total at this time, which was double the comparable total for the first six months of 2006. The StatsCan study made public yesterday also confirmed previous studies showing a slowdown in the so-called exodus of Quebecers to other provinces. The inter-provincial losses from 2001-06 were the lowest recorded in any five-year census period since 1971-76, Dion said. From 2001 to 2006, Quebec lost only 8,000 anglophones to other provinces - fewer than 2,000 a year, compared with up to 50,000 a year in the late 1970s. But as a StatCan study made public last December showed, new influxes of anglophones into Quebec from other countries between 2001 and 2006 slightly outnumbered the 8,000 losses, meaning English Quebec is growing today for the first time since the early 1970s. StatsCan also examined population movement within the Montreal metropolitan region. It looked at all the household moves from one municipality in the region to another and found clear winners and losers. The city of Montreal was a heavy loser, mainly to off-island suburbs. But Boisbriand, St. Joseph du Lac and Pointe Calumet, all off-island suburbs, were also big losers. The only town on Montreal Island with a net gain of population from other parts of the region was Ste. Anne de Bellevue. Beaconsfield and Dollard des Ormeaux suffered mild losses, as did Westmount and Montreal East. Off-island suburbs Longueuil, Oka and Ste. Anne des Plaines also suffered slight net losses. The one bright spot for the region was its net gain of 12,795 people in the 15-to-29 age group. These gains came from both the rest of Quebec and the rest of Canada. They reflect continuing poor job prospects in some outlying Quebec regions for young people as well as strong interest nationally in Montreal as a city for post-secondary studies, Dion said. [email protected] - - - montrealgazette.com - - - Not-So-Small Towns Small and medium-sized urban centres experienced significant population growth from 2001 to 2006, figures from the 2006 census show. Here are the urban centres that experienced the biggest gains from population shifts within Canada: City Province 1. Okotoks Alta. 2. Parksville B.C. 3. Grande Prairie Alta. 4. Wood Buffalo Alta. 5. Chilliwack B.C. 6. Vernon B.C. 7. Joliette Que. 8. Red Deer Alta. 9. St. Jean sur Richelieu Que. 10. Courtenay B.C. Other centres in Quebec in the Top 50 23. Drummondville 30. Granby 32. St. Georges (Beauce) 37. Sorel-Tracy 38. Victoriaville 44. Cowansville 49. Rivière du Loup 50. St. Hyacinthe source: statistics Canada
  11. The housing boom may be over, but there's no bust in sight Jay Bryan, Canwest News Service Published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 With housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply.Reuters fileWith housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply. Ever since last year, forecasters have been predicting that Canada's hot housing market was about to slow to a much more sedate pace. Well, it's happened. Except that sedate is hardly the word for the 14% plunge in construction activity that turned up Monday in the housing starts data for July. To many, this sharp drop will be downright alarming, raising fears that the catastrophic housing meltdown in the U.S. has now spread across the border. They can relax. Or at least most of them can. Maybe a little nervousness is appropriate for those who bought near the market's peak in one of Canada's very high-flying centres of real-estate inflation -- places like Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. In these towns, warns BMO Capital Markets economist Sal Guatieri, soaring home prices so greatly outstripped income growth that it wouldn't be surprising if real-estate values had to drop significantly in order to restore affordability to the market. But in most of Canada, what we're seeing looks like a normal return to earth after a six-year-long real-estate boom. The frenetic construction and double-digit price gains of yesteryear couldn't last forever, so now we've entered the cooling-off phase. Economic forecasters think the outlook for most cities is for prices to stagnate, or maybe edge down a little, while the level of construction eases, but doesn't collapse. If this doesn't seem to fit with the outlook foreshadowed by July's big drop in construction activity, that's simply because you're reading the numbers too literally. No one month's statistics mean very much, especially if you take them at face value. When you look at a chart of housing starts over a period of many months, it looks like a mountain range, with soaring peaks and deep valleys. Most of this volatility is caused by builders of condominiums and other multiple-unit developments, where a few projects more or less can make the numbers skyrocket or plummet. That's why analysts take the single-family starts more seriously. They're a lot less volatile and, thus, a better indicator of where the market is really heading. In July, single-family housing starts fell by just 7%. As well, nearly all of July's decline was in Ontario -- "think Toronto condos," says BMO Capital Markets analyst Robert Kavcic. And exceptionally wet weather in Eastern Canada likely slowed construction, notes Millan Mulraine of TD Securities. Outside of Toronto, most big cities saw only modest changes in total activity. So what can we expect for the coming months? Continued slowing, most likely, but certainly no savage nationwide meltdown on the model of the U.S. Royal Bank economist Paul Ferley notes that in 2007, Canadian housing construction remained little changed from the banner year of 2006, even as U.S. activity plummeted 26%. He thinks Canada's housing starts will drop by only about 5% this year, compared with a 30% plunge south of the border. Mr. Ferley thinks that 2009 will finally bring a significant drop in Canadian activity, but nothing like the U.S. collapse, with starts down by about 15%. The brake on construction is the slowdown in sales that started months ago, with sales figures in each month this year down from the comparable period in 2007, Mr. Guatieri noted. It's quite likely that this will continue into next year, since the U.S. economic slowdown and the recent sharp decline in commodity prices are both beginning to bite in Canada, bringing declines in job creation. With housing demand weaker, price gains have already slowed sharply. With a 5.4% average gain over the past year, Montreal is doing a little better than the national average of 3.5%. Toronto is near average at 3.8%. The hardest-hit include mainly big Western cities, with Vancouver up 1.8%, Edmonton 1.6%, Calgary a mere 0.1% and Victoria down by 0.4%. But even if the boom is over, there's no national bust in sight. Without the severe financial excesses and fraud that devastated the U.S. mortgage market, undermined that country's banking system and brought soaring numbers of home foreclosures, Canada simply doesn't have the conditions to trigger a housing collapse.
  12. Les gains de productivité ont légèrement ralenti au deuxième trimestre à 2,2%, contre 2,6% lors des trois premiers mois de l'année. Pour en lire plus...
  13. Encouragés par le plan de relance mis de l'avant, le week-end dernier, par le prochain président américain, Barack Obama, les bourses d'Asie et d'Europe commencent la semaine sur de forts gains. Pour en lire plus...
  14. (Courtesy of Huffington Post) Honestly some of the comments about the topic is beyond stupid. Some people don't want to move to Canada seeing we are seen as a "socialist" country
  15. La productivité dans le secteur non-agricole aux États-Unis a fortement ralenti au troisième trimestre, progressant de 1,1% à un rythme annuel par rapport au trimestre précédent. Pour en lire plus...
  16. Le marché du travail tient bon 7 juin 2008 - 06h00 La Presse En mai, 8400 Canadiens de plus qu'en avril détenaient un emploi, ce qui a permis de garder le taux de chômage à 6,1% seulement, révèlent les données de l'Enquête sur la population active (EPA) de Statistique Canada. Cette faible création, qui se situe à l'intérieur de la marge d'erreur de l'EPA (8400 emplois sur 17,14 millions), est interprétée comme si le marché du travail était «demeuré inchangé» par les analystes de l'agence fédérale. Cela témoigne néanmoins d'une résistance certaine du marché du travail, si on regarde ce qui se passe au sud de la frontière. Aux États-Unis, l'économie a détruit 49 000 emplois en mai, ce qui a propulsé le taux de chômage de 5,0% à 5,5%. Il s'agit du plus grand bond en 22 ans. En fait, si on calcule le taux de chômage canadien selon la méthodologie américaine qui fixe à 16 ans au lieu de 15 l'âge d'entrée dans la population active, on mesure mieux la détérioration du marché du travail américain. «Il s'agit de la première fois depuis 1982 que le taux de chômage au Canada calculé selon les concepts américains baisse au-dessous du taux américain», fait remarquer Philip Cross, analyste en chef à Statistique Canada qui a réalisé la comparaison. Cela dit, le marché canadien n'est pas exempt de ratés. Seuls le Québec et l'Ontario ont affiché des gains significatifs en mai. D'un océan à l'autre, 32 200 emplois à temps plein disparus ont été remplacés par 40 600 à temps partiel, tous dans le secteur privé cependant. Si le taux de chômage est resté stable, 13 400 personnes de plus qu'en avril étaient à la recherche active d'un emploi, ce qui porte le nombre de chômeurs à 1,12 million de Canadiens. Au Québec, le portrait de mai a davantage de lustre: 17 900 personnes de plus détenaient un emploi (dont 11 800 à temps plein). Plus de personnes étaient sur le marché du travail que durant le mois précédent, mais le nombre de chômeurs a diminué de 2700 à 313 200. Le taux de chômage a donc fléchi de 7,6% à 7,5%. En usine Fait à relever, le secteur manufacturier prend du mieux. Il a créé 13 700 emplois le mois dernier de sorte que 2400 Québécois de plus qu'il y a 12 mois travaillaient en usine, le mois dernier. Selon l'agence fédérale, le dynamisme des secteurs aéronautique et du matériel roulant compenserait la léthargie du textile et du vêtement. Il y a plus, semble-t-il. «On fait des gains de productivité, on n'est pas en train de fermer boutique», juge Joëlle Noreau, économiste principale au Mouvement Desjardins. Le secteur a connu une bonne expansion (2%) en 2005, s'est contracté un brin (0,6%) en 2006 et a repris le terrain perdu (0,8%) l'an dernier. L'Ontario, dont le marché du travail se porte bien jusqu'ici en 2008 (80 700 emplois), n'est pas au bout de ses peines avec les déboires du secteur automobile, qui promet de nouveaux licenciements d'ici à 2010. «Ce qui était sa pierre d'assise est en train de devenir son talon d'Achille», résume Mme Noreau dans une jolie métaphore. Reste que la société distincte n'est qu'une province sur dix. À l'échelle pancanadienne, des signes d'essoufflement sur le marché du travail en font sourciller quelques-uns. «Le secteur crucial des services n'a créé que 10 000 postes au cours des trois derniers mois, note Stéfane Marion, économiste en chef adjoint à la Financière Banque Nationale. Le nombre total d'heures travaillées a déjà diminué de 1,4% en chiffres annualisés alors qu'il ne reste qu'un mois, ce trimestre.» «Les employeurs préfèrent réduire les heures de travail plutôt que de licencier des employés qu'ils ont eu de la difficulté à embaucher ces dernières années», résume Ted Carmichael, économiste principal chez JP Morgan. Moins d'heures travaillées présagent d'une expansion anémique, à moins d'improbables gains de productivité. Cela devrait aussi infléchir les pressions salariales, mais ce n'est pas encore le cas. Le salaire horaire moyen était en hausse annuelle de 4,8% en mai. Cela représente une accélération par rapport à avril et demeure plus du double du taux d'inflation (1,7%). Les variations provinciales sont marquées: 2% seulement en Nouvelle-Écosse, mais 7,8% dans la bouillante Saskatchewan. Au Québec, la hausse s'élève à 3,2%, soit deux fois plus que le taux d'inflation. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080607/LAINFORMER/806071068/5891/LAINFORMER01/?utm_source=Fils&utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=LPA_S_INFORMER
  17. Les gains de productivité ont été révisés en hausse au premier trimestre aux États-Unis à 2,6% à un rythme annuel au lieu de 2,2% annoncé précédemment. Pour en lire plus...
  18. Alors que les États-Unis viennent officiellement de tomber en récession, les bourses d'Europe et d'Amérique du Nord s'effondrent. En Europe, les pertes dépassent les 5 %, aux États-Unis, 6 %, et à Toronto, 8 %. Pour en lire plus...
  19. 25 octobre 2007 Le nombre de fonctionnaires va en diminuant, l'espace pour les loger peut être réduit. C'est dans cette logique que le gouvernement québécois officialisera en fin de semaine la mise en vente du 500, René-Lévesque Ouest, à Montréal. Deux autres édifices, à Québec ceux-là, passeront aussi aux mains du privé. Il s'agit du J.-A.-Tardif et de Place Québec. Dans les trois cas, il s'agit d'édifices qui ne sont pas entièrement occupés par du personnel à l'emploi de l'État québécois. Au bureau de la ministre des Finances, qui avait fait état de ces ventes à venir dans son budget du printemps, on répète que «le gouvernement a décidé de se concentrer sur sa mission essentielle». Et comme ces trois édifices sont les trois seuls qui hébergent aussi des locataires privés, Québec n'a pas l'intention d'en vendre d'autres, indiquait-on mercredi. Pour le moment, Québec entend garder ses fonctionnaires dans les locaux mis en vente. À terme, certains devront toutefois déménager dans d'autres locaux. Les gains de la vente de ces édifices, avait annoncé la ministre Monique Jérôme-Forget au printemps, seront versés au fonds des générations, qui vise à alléger le poids de la dette croissante du Québec. Mercredi, à son bureau, on n'a pas voulu estimer quels pourraient être ces gains. Le dossier de Place Québec est celui qui devrait déboucher le plus tôt. Le processus de vente est suffisamment avancé pour espérer une conclusion «d'ici les Fêtes», explique Martin Roy, porte-parole de la Société immobilière du Québec, qui gère les édifices gouvernementaux. En plus de bureaux gouvernementaux, l'édifice compte une galerie commerciale et un grand stationnement. À Montréal, le 500, René-Lévesque Ouest, qui compte 26 étages, abrite notamment la Commission des normes du travail et celle des lésions professionnelles en plus de l'Agence des partenariats publics-privés. Les courtiers J.J. Barnicke et Michel Duclos ont été retenus pour la SIQ.
  20. Des centaines de petits investisseurs rimouskois pourraient perdre plusieurs centaines de milliers de dollars après avoir acheté des actions d'une entreprise ontarienne qui leur a fait miroiter fortune et gains rapides. Pour en lire plus...
  21. Des gains inhabituels qui ne se sont pas répétés ont causé l'évaporation des profits au deuxième trimestre, Boralex empochant 1,1 M$. Pour en lire plus...
  22. Un excellent article du Devoir paru la semaine dernière et que je voulais publier ici dans la section Économie pour plus de pertinence, mais cette section n'existe pas. Du moins pas encore. On a plutôt tendance à tout mettre dans la section politique et ainsi on en limite involontairement l'accès et les interventions. J'ai donc décidé tout de même de le mettre ici, en espérant qu'il ne se perdra pas dans les centaines de fils qui encombrent déjà cette section. Pour ceux qui souhaitent sauter tout de suite aux conclusions, allez à la fin dans la partie Déséquilibres grandissants , du matériel qui nous porte à réfléchir et se poser de sérieuses questions. Comme on peut le constater, ce n'est pas le système qui ne marche pas, mais le mauvais usage qu'on en fait. Le capitalisme quand on l'utilise correctement et avec discipline, est un excellent moyen pour créer de la richesse et la distribuer. Mais quand un groupe s'en empare et fausse les règles à son seul profit, rien ne va plus et on est condamné à aller de crise en crises. Il faut que ça change... parce qu'il est de plus en plus difficile, complexe et couteux d'intervenir, et la bête en grossissant, risque un jour de dévorer ses maîtres. ____________________ Vos finances - Humeur maussade et déprime du CPG 21 décembre 2013 | Gérard Bérubé | Finances personnelles Entre cynisme politique et résignation financière, les Québécois en particulier, les Canadiens en général affichent une humeur plutôt maussade en cette fin de 2013. Plus endettés, ils se disent également en moins bonne situation financière qu’il y a un an et ils craignent une nouvelle correction boursière. Vivement 2014 ! Cette longue stagnation économique joue sur le moral et l’année 2013 marque un pas tournant dans la résignation des Canadiens concernant leur situation financière. Selon les résultats d’un sondage Financière Sun Life/Ipsos Reid publiés lundi, 57 % des Canadiens disent ne pas être en meilleure situation financière qu’il y a un an. Ce sentiment d’appauvrissement se vérifie davantage chez les femmes et les personnes de 55 ans ou plus, où la proportion de répondants se disant en moins bonne santé financière atteint 61 %. Et c’est pire encore chez les Québécois, 63 % ne pouvant indiquer qu’ils sont en meilleure situation financière qu’il y a un an. On connaît déjà la situation de l’endettement des Canadiens, qui évolue de record en record année après année. Il faut aussi rappeler qu’à ce portrait présenté par la Financière Sun Life, les dettes ont continué de s’accumuler plus rapidement dans le segment des 65 ans et plus. Depuis la crise de 2008, l’endettement dans ce groupe d’âge augmente au rythme annuel moyen frôlant les 9 %. C’est dans ce segment que la dette moyenne affiche la plus forte croissance, et ce, année après année, selon les statistiques de l’agence Equifax. Avec des revenus réduits, souvent associés à des dépenses accrues, ces personnes accumulent plus de dettes pour hausser leurs revenus par le truchement du crédit afin de pouvoir continuer de jouir du style de vie préretraite qu’elles ne pourront peut-être plus se permettre. S’ajoute, parfois, la nécessité de venir en aide à leurs propres enfants adultes ou leurs propres parents qui ont des problèmes financiers. Question d’alourdir encore le paysage financier des Canadiens, seulement 36 % des répondants au sondage disent cotiser à leur REER. Mais à l’inverse, chez les 38 % de répondants déclarant être en meilleure situation financière que l’an dernier, 65 % ont souligné qu’ils ont remboursé les dettes de leur ménage cette année et 50 % versent des cotisations occasionnelles ou périodiques à leur REER. Quant aux perspectives d’avenir, elles ne sont guère reluisantes dans la tête des épargnants canadiens. Selon les résultats d’un autre sondage, publiés également lundi par BMO Banque de Montréal, 63 % des répondants s’attendent à ce que les marchés boursiers subissent une correction au cours de la prochaine décennie. Et 51 % prévoient rechercher des options de placement plus sûres en 2014. CPG: rendement chétif Évidemment, l’institution profite de cet engouement accru pour la protection du capital pour promouvoir son certificat de placement garanti. Dans ce sondage, 27 % des répondants déclarent détenir un CPG, alors que 32 % prévoient en acheter un au cours de la prochaine année, et que 44 % envisagent d’acheter des CPG supplémentaires dans les cinq prochaines années. Plus précisément, il appert qu’à un rendement de 2 % par année, 14 % des Canadiens souhaitent acheter un CPG. Si le taux de rendement montait à 4 %, 57 % jetteraient leur dévolu sur ce véhicule de placement. Il faut cependant retenir que selon le type de CPG, le montant investi et l’échéance, le taux annuel offert est plutôt chétif. Il peut varier entre 0,25 % et 1,35 %. Il peut dépasser les 2 % par année sur une échéance de dix ans. Une fois l’inflation prise en compte… Surtout que, pour reprendre les projections de BMO, « nous estimons que la Réserve fédérale américaine commencera à hausser ses taux au premier trimestre de 2016 et que la Banque du Canada se montre plus conciliatrice; nous prévoyons que celle-ci commencera à augmenter ses propres taux à partir du troisième trimestre de 2015. Nous croyons que la Banque avancera avec prudence, afin d’éviter une trop forte hausse du dollar canadien. Elle ne procédera probablement pas à plus d’une hausse des taux par trimestre, jusqu’à ce que la Réserve fédérale entre dans la danse ». Donc rien pour réjouir ou encourager l’épargnant ! Déséquilibres grandissants Le moral n’y est donc pas et cette longue période de stagnation économique y est pour quelque chose. D’ailleurs, l’Economic Policy Institute de Washington a présenté vendredi ses 13 graphiques les plus révélateurs de 2013. On peut y lire notamment que : L’économie américaine affichait, en novembre, un manque à gagner de quelque 8 millions d’emplois pour combler le trou creusé lors de la Grande Récession ; La faiblesse de la croissance écarte du marché du travail près de 6 millions de travailleurs potentiels ; Un des ratios baromètres de l’état de santé du marché du travail, soit le taux d’emploi des personnes âgées de 25 à 54 ans par rapport à la population, demeure aujourd’hui le même que celui ayant prévalu à la fin de la récession ; L’actuelle austérité budgétaire est la plus lourde de toutes les sorties de récession précédentes ; La part des profits des entreprises accaparée par les actionnaires plutôt que redistribuée aux employés atteignait un sommet historique à la fin du troisième trimestre ; L’écart de la rémunération du chef de la direction par rapport à l’employé moyen atteint 273 pour 1. L’écart était de 20 pour 1 en 1965, et de 100 pour 1 en 1992. Il a atteint son sommet de 383 pour 1 au plus fort de la bulle des valeurs technologiques, en 2000 ; Le déséquilibre se veut plus grand encore entre la rémunération des hauts dirigeants et celle du travailleur moyen. Ainsi, 70 % des travailleurs américains ont vu leur salaire réel stagner ou baisser depuis 2002 ; Le déséquilibre est toujours plus grand. Productivité et gains salariaux évoluaient de manière synchronisée au cours des trois décennies suivant la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Mais depuis 1972, l’écart entre les gains de productivité et la rémunération horaire réelle n’a cessé de se creuser, pour atteindre à la fin de 2012 un décalage historique. L’indice cumulé des gains de productivité depuis 1948 atteignait 240,9 % à la fin de 2012 et celui du gain horaire réel, de 107,8 %. Le salaire réel fait, en définitive, du surplace depuis la cassure de 1972, les entreprises et les actionnaires s’appropriant l’essentiel des gains de productivité.