Weekly Digest – 13 March 2024

Welcome to our Weekly Digest – stay in the know with some recent news updates relevant to business and the economy.

A change to Canadian banking is coming…

A long-promised revolution in banking is headed to Canada, but you might not notice when it arrives. Change is in the works that will give Canadian consumers and businesses significantly more control over their financial data, including who they share it with, in what’s known as open banking.

Canada averts recession with meagre growth in Q4

The Canadian economy continues to beat recession fears, posting modest growth in the fourth quarter even as high interest rates weighed on consumers and businesses. Statistics Canada reported Thursday real gross domestic product increased at an annualized rate of one per cent in the last three months of the year, exceeding economists’ expectations and the Bank of Canada’s forecast for the quarter.

Look for measures to make housing more affordable in federal budget

Look for measures to make housing in Canada more affordable in the federal budget next month, says CIBC economist Benjamin Tal.

With AI, workplace surveillance has ‘skyrocketed’—leaving Canadian laws behind

Technology that tracks your location at work and the time you’re spending in the bathroom. A program that takes random screenshots of your laptop screen. A monitoring system that detects your mood during your shift. These are just some ways employee surveillance technology — now turbocharged, thanks to the explosive growth of artificial intelligence — is being deployed.

Bank of Canada holds interest rate at 5 per cent

The Bank of Canada has held its key interest rate at five per cent again, saying that it’s still too soon to consider rate cuts while underlying inflation persists. ‘We need to give higher interest rates more time to do their work,’ Macklem says.

Changes needed to align immigration to labour needs

Construction stakeholders call for immigration system reforms to help address looming labour gaps.  Changes are needed to Canada’s immigration system to ensure the construction sector can respond to growth, and deliver on key public-policy priorities, such as building new housing and greening infrastructure, says BuildForce Canada in its Immigration Report Update.

10 reasons why Canadians are still dissatisfied with the economy, despite the upswing

The COVID-19 pandemic is no longer a global emergency, Canada’s GDP outperformed expectations in 2023, the economy seems to be heading for soft landing after a period of stagnation, inflation is winding down and unemployment has decreased to 5.7 per cent in January 2024 — close to pre-pandemic levels. Despite these positive economic indicators, recent surveys suggest Canadians are dissatisfied with the direction of the economy.

Canadian business insolvencies soar to highest level in nearly 20 years

Canadian businesses aren’t just increasingly closing up shop, but they’re facing debt problems too. Office of The Superintendent of Bankruptcies (OSB) data shows business insolvencies surged in January. A combination of a slowing economy, rising input costs, soaring debt, and end of pandemic assistance has led to the biggest month for business insolvencies in nearly 20 years.

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