This module provides a concise summary of selected Canadian economic events, as well as international and financial market developments by calendar month. It is intended to provide contextual information only to support users of the economic data published by Statistics Canada. In identifying major events or developments, Statistics Canada is not suggesting that these have a material impact on the published economic data in a particular reference month.
All information presented here is obtained from publicly available news and information sources, and does not reflect any protected information provided to Statistics Canada by survey respondents.
- Calgary-based Cenovus Energy Inc. announced it had entered into an agreement to sell its Palliser crude oil and natural gas assets in southeastern Alberta to Calgary-based Torxen Energy and Schlumberger Limited of Texas for cash proceeds of $1.3 billion. Cenovus said the sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to customary closing conditions.
- The U.S. State Department issued a Presidential Permit that granted Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, permission to operate and maintain pipeline facilities at the border of the United States and Canada at Neche, North Dakota, for the transport of crude oil and other hydrocarbons between the United States and Canada. Enbridge said the Line 67 Pipeline currently operates under an existing Presidential Permit that was issued by the U.S. State Department in 2009, and that the 2017 permit authorizes Enbridge to fully utilize its capacity across the border.
- Calgary-based TransCanada Corporation announced it will no longer be proceeding with its proposed Energy East Pipeline and Eastern Mainline projects.
- Unifor announced on October 13th that a tentative agreement had been reached between Unifor Local 88 representing workers at CAMI Automotive in Ingersoll, Ontario, and General Motors of Canada, ending a strike at CAMI that began on September 17th. Unifor Local 88 members working at CAMI ratified the agreement on October 16th.
- On October 6th, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the antidumping duty (AD) investigation of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada. The DOC has applied a 79.82% antidumping duty, and will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to collect deposits from importers based on this preliminary rate. Combined with the countervailing duties of 219.63% announced on September 26th, total duties on imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada are approximately 300%. The DOC said it is scheduled to announce its final determination on or about December 19, 2017.
- Bombardier Inc. announced on October 16th that it had signed an agreement with France-based Airbus SE to become partners on the C Series aircraft programme. Bombardier said Airbus will provide procurement, sales and marketing, and customer support expertise to the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership (CSALP) and, at closing, Airbus will acquire a 50.01% interest in CSALP. Bombardier also said that CSALP headquarters and primary assembly are to remain in Québec, and that a second Final Assembly Line for the C Series will be located at Airbus' manufacturing site in Alabama. The company said completion of the transaction is expected for the second half of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals.
- Montreal-based Saputo Inc. announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire the business of Murray Goulburn Co-Operative Co. Limited (MG) of Australia, a producer of dairy foods, for $1.29 billion. The company said the transaction is expected to close in the first half of calendar year 2018 subject to the approval of MG shareholders and customary conditions.
- Toronto-based Sears Canada Inc. announced it had received approval from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to proceed with a liquidation of all its inventory and furniture, fixtures and equipment located at its remaining stores. Liquidation sales commenced on October 19th and the Court has extended the Stay Period to January 22, 2018. As of June, 2017, Sears Canada employed approximately 17,000 individuals across Canada, including 2,900 positions that the company announced it was planning to reduce at that time.
- METRO INC. and The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., both of Montreal, announced they had entered into a definitive combination agreement pursuant to which METRO will acquire all of the outstanding Jean Coutu Group Class A subordinate voting shares and outstanding Class B shares, representing a total consideration of approximately $4.5 billion. The companies said the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2018, subject to regulatory and Jean Coutu Group shareholder approvals.
- Washington-based Amazon.com Inc. announced plans to open its seventh Canadian fulfillment centre to be located in the greater Calgary region's Rocky View community. The company said the facility will create more than 750 new full-time associate roles.
Finance and Insurance
- The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada (OSFI) announced it had published the final version of Guideline B-20 – Residential Mortgage Underwriting Practices and Procedures – that now requires the minimum qualifying rate for uninsured mortgages to be the greater of the five-year benchmark rate published by the Bank of Canada or the contractual mortgage rate +2%. OSFI said the revised Guideline comes into effect on January 1, 2018, and applies to all federally regulated financial institutions.
- Toronto-based TMX Group Limited announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Trayport Holdings Limited of the United Kingdom, and its U.S.-based affiliate, Trayport Inc., from Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. for $931 million in total consideration. TMX Group said that in conjunction with the proposed acquisition of Trayport it has agreed to sell Natural Gas Exchange Inc. and Shorcan Energy Brokers Inc., valued at a combined $339 million.
- The Government of Canada tabled its Fall Economic Statement on October 25th which included proposals to make annual cost of living increases to the Canada Child Benefit starting in July 2018, to enhance the Working Income Tax Benefit by $500 million annually, and to lower the small business tax rate from 11% in 2015 to 10% effective January 1, 2018, and to 9% effective January 1, 2019. The Government forecasts a $19.9 billion deficit in 2017-2018 and economic growth of 3.1% in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018.
- The Bank of Canada maintained the target for the overnight rate at 1.00%. The last change in the target for the overnight rate was a 25 basis-point increase announced in September 2017.
- The following provinces increased the minimum wage effective October 1st: Manitoba, from $11.00 to $11.15 per hour; Ontario, from $11.40 to $11.60 per hour; Saskatchewan, from $10.72 to $10.96 per hour; and Alberta, from $12.20 to $13.60 per hour.
- The fourth round of negotiations between Canada, the United States and Mexico pursuant to the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement took place in Washington, DC from October 11-17.
- On October 16th, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) announced that more than 12,000 Ontario public college faculty had taken strike action.
- Toronto-based Aecon Group Inc. and CCCC International Holding Limited (CCCI) of China announced they had entered into a definitive agreement under which CCCI will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Aecon for an enterprise value of $1.51 billion. The companies said they expect to close the transaction by the end of the first quarter of 2018, subject to Aecon shareholder approval and applicable government and regulatory approvals.
United States and other international news
- The European Central Bank (ECB) left the interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem unchanged at 0.00%, and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility unchanged at 0.25% and -0.40%, respectively. The ECB also said that net asset purchases will continue at a monthly pace of €60 billion until the end of December 2017, and €30 billion from January 2018 until the end of September 2018.
- The Reserve Bank of Australia maintained the cash rate at 1.50%. The last change in the cash rate was a 25 basis point reduction in August 2016.
- Sweden's Riksbank left its main interest rate, the repo rate, unchanged at -0.5%. The last change in the repo rate was a 15 basis point cut in February 2016. The Riksbank also said the purchases of government bonds will continue during the second half of 2017, as decided in April.
- The Bank of Japan (BoJ) announced it will continue to apply a -0.1% interest rate to the Policy-Rate Balances in current accounts held by financial institutions at the BoJ. The BoJ also said it would continue to purchase Japanese government bonds (JGB) so that 10-year JGB yields will remain at around zero percent.
- Michigan-based General Motors Co. announced it will introduce two new all-electric vehicles in the next 18 months, and that these will be the first in at least 20 new all-electric vehicles that will launch by 2023.
- Michigan-based Ford Motor Company announced that as part of its plan to reduce automotive cost growth through 2022, the company is targeting USD $10 billion in incremental material cost reductions and will reduce engineering costs by USD $4 billion from planned levels over the next five years. Ford also said it is reducing internal combustion engine capital expenditures by one-third and redeploying that capital into electrification – on top of the previously announced USD $4.5 billion investment. The company said this builds on Ford's earlier commitment to deliver 13 new electric vehicles in the next five years.
- California-based Cisco Systems, Inc. and BroadSoft, Inc. of Maryland, a communications software and service provider, announced a definitive agreement for Cisco to acquire BroadSoft for an aggregate purchase price of approximately USD $1.9 billion net of cash. The companies said the acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of calendar year 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review.
Financial market news
- Crude oil (West Texas Intermediate) closed at USD $54.15 on October 30th, up from USD $51.67 at the end of September. The Canadian dollar closed at 77.90 cents U.S. on October 30th, down from 80.13 cents U.S. on September 29th. The S&P/TSX closed at 16,002.78 on October 30th, up from a closing value of 15,634.94 at the end of September.