Daily Market Update

Harper: No immediate action on housing market
Ottawa has no plans to take any “immediate action” on the housing market, according to Stephen Harper. Speaking at an event on Ontario the Prime Minister said the government is watching developments closely, referring to this week’s cut in mortgage rates by some lenders. Harper said he was not “unconcerned” by the housing market, but said that with strength in the economy and loan defaults low he believes there is no further action to be taken at this time. Read the full story.
Canadian debt increased by 2.3 per cent last year, says credit agency
Canadian consumers increased their average debt to $21,428 excluding mortgages last year, according to credit agency TransUnion. That means an extra 2.3 per cent of debt was added to credit cards and other loans during 2014, after many spent 2013 paying down debt. The report shows that consumers in Calgary and Edmonton were the exception to the rule with their debt declining last year. Read the full story.
TD Bank is “out of touch” with housing market in Newfoundland and Labrador
A recent report by TD Bank that house prices in Newfoundland and Labrador would fall by up to 10 per cent has been challenged by a local CHMC analyst. Chris Janes said that the bank does not have the local intelligence on the ground that CHMC does and he predicts that prices should remain stable. TD, along with the finance minister, are basing forecasts on a declining oil industry, but production in the province is largely unchanged. Janes told CBC that employment was the key driver for the housing market and people are still employed. Read the full story.
Canadian economy will grow slower for next two years, says OECD
The OECD has downgraded its forecast for the Canadian economy, citing the weak oil and commodities sectors as major factors. The organisation’s latest outlook is for a 2.2 per cent growth this year, down from its 2.6 forecast in November, and 2.1 per cent growth in 2016, down from 2.4 per cent previously. The forecast for the U.S. is unchanged, while the OECD expects many countries in Europe and Asia to benefit from lower energy and materials costs. Read the full story.

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