Rate cut talk gathers pace
More experts are joining the voices calling for a further cut in interest rates when the Bank of Canada announces its decision next month. The bank’s senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said yesterday that “the economy still has room to grow” and that the bank’s monetary policy will “support the needed adjustments". She said that the economy needs to adjust to the lower oil prices and that the bank doesn’t want to do anything that could stifle that. The labour market is one of the main areas of concern, especially with lay-offs in the energy sector, along with output, and Wilkins said she believes that the gaps will close over time. She added that low and stable inflation will help boost investment and prompt the creation of more jobs. The Bank of Montreal’s senior economist Benjamin Reitzes said we should “look for another rate cut in March, and don’t count out further easing". The rate decision will be announced on March 4.
Ottawa planners approve city’s tallest building
A new 55-storey tower could become the tallest building in Ottawa
in the coming years after the city’s planners gave it their approval. The Sky, which has been proposed by Richcraft, will be a trio of towers with a combined 1,120 units, including commercial space and public plaza; there could even be a hotel. The development will need the backing of the full council. Richcraft has committed $3.4 million for the council to spend on community projects in the neighbourhood if the development goes ahead.
Colliers splits from parent company, changes name
Real estate company Colliers will split from its parent firm FirstService Corp and will have a new name. FirstService will focus on residential property while the newly-named Colliers International Group will focus on the commercial sector. Further details of the deal have not been revealed.
Almost half of Canadian credit card holders have debt
A poll by the Bank of Montreal found that 46 per cent of Canadians who hold a credit card have debt on the account. Following the holiday season, 28 per cent of cardholders added on average $1,192 to their card balance. Almost a third (30 per cent) of cardholders carry a monthly balance, although 51 per cent do not. Millennials are most likely to view a credit card as ‘extra spending money’. BMO’s Nick Mastromarc said that, while credit cards are a useful payment tool, they should not be viewed as additional borrowing and warned that: “unchecked spending habits can result in getting stuck in continuous monthly debt cycles that can hamper near and long-term financial goals.” He recommends speaking with a financial planner to ensure the best management of household spending.
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