North America

  • 2019-11-20 14:47


    --Trudeau Must Pass Budget By Spring With Opposition Support

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canada remains on a path of running small enough budget deficits to nudge down the country's debt relative to GDP after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kept Bill Morneau at finance in a post-election cabinet shuffle on Wednesday.

    Trudeau's Liberals need one of three opposition parties to support a budget due by next spring to stay in power, after being reduced to a minority of seats in the Oct. 21 vote. Their campaign platform called for a C$27.4 billion shortfall in the fiscal year starting in April, narrowing to C$21 billion by 2024.

  • 2019-11-20 14:25


    By Brooke Migdon and Alexandra Kelley

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. House Ways and Means subcommittee members criticized President Donald Trump's administration for circumventing Congress while reaching an initial trade accord with Japan, and said the deal needed to better assist American farmers.

    Members of Congress claimed Wednesday during a hearing on U.S.-Japan trade that consultations didn't take place before and during the U.S. Trade Representative's talks with Japan, as required under a 2015 act.

    "Sadly the USTR ignored our request for meaningful consultation while negotiations with Japan were ongoing," Ways and Means Chairman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said in his opening statement.

  • 2019-11-20 14:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the October meeting:

    With regard to monetary policy beyond this meeting, most participants judged that the stance of policy, after a 25 basis point reduction at this meeting, would be well calibrated to support the outlook of moderate growth, a strong labor market, and inflation near the Committees symmetric 2 percent objective and likely would remain so as long as incoming information about the economy did not result in a material reassessment of the economic outlook.

  • 2019-11-20 14:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the October meeting:

    Many participants noted that, once an ample supply of reserves is firmly established, there might be little need for a standing repo facility or for frequent repo operations. Some of these participants indicated that a basic principle in implementing an ample-reserves framework is to maintain reserves on an ongoing basis at levels that would obviate the need for open market operations to address pressures in funding markets in all but exceptional circumstances.

  • 2019-11-20 14:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is an excerpt of the Federal Open Market Committee minutes describing committee's policy action, published Wednesday for the October meeting:

    Participants discussed the relative merits of qualitative, date-based, and outcome-based forward guidance. A number of participants noted that each of these three forms of forward guidance could be effective in providing accommodation, depending on circumstances both at and away from the ELB. They also suggested that different types of forward guidance would likely be needed to address varying economic conditions, and that the communications regarding forward guidance needed to be tailored to explain the Committees evaluation of the economic outlook.

  • 2019-11-19 13:00


    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said a 1.75% benchmark rate and other extraordinary tools give policy makers room to tackle any significant downturn.

    The global backdrop has worsened because of trade tensions and a buildup of riskier corporate debt, Wilkins said Tuesday in the text of speech she's giving in Montreal. Consumer debt and housing markets remain key domestic vulnerabilities even with recent rule changes that have taken some of the heat out of Toronto and Vancouver housing markets, she said.

  • 2019-11-19 08:30


    By Greg Quinn and Anahita Alinejad

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadian factory sales fell 0.2% in September, the third decline in four months, led by energy and auto parts production stifled by the UAW union strike.

    The decline was smaller than the 0.5% MNI median, and much less than drops of more than 1% in June and July. Still, the volume of sales that is a better fit to GDP figures declined by 0.7% in September, a Statistics Canada report Tuesday showed.

    Petroleum and coal sales fell 1.9%, the fourth straight decline. Motor vehicle parts declined 4.3% in September, the most in 10 months, as some plants were disrupted by the United Auto Workers labor dispute. That could later hurt the strength of the motor vehicles segment that climbed 2.9% in September.

  • 2019-11-18 12:20


    By Alexandra Kelley

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. House Democrats want to present a resolution Monday that would avoid a government shutdown by extending funding to Dec. 20, a spokesman for Representative Nita Lowey told MNI.

    A formal announcement from Congress may come out sometime later today, spokesman Evan Hollander wrote in an email.

    The bill will extend funding for the 12 annual spending bills, extending the deadline to prevent a government shutdown.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer first announced announced a pending vote on a stopgap spending bill last week, saying the Senate needed more time to finish passing the remaining outstanding appropriations bills for the 2020 fiscal year.

  • 2019-11-15 12:32


    --Canada Mortgage & Housing Corp. Survey Also Shows Borrowing Risks Linger

    OTTAWA (MNI) - Canadians are paring back on jumbo home purchases while continuing other risky behaviors through a housing boom that pinched affordability and led regulators to tighten lending standards, a new government survey out Friday shows.

    Some 60% of buyers spent as much as they could afford on a home this year, down from 78% in 2018 according to an online survey by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

  • 2019-11-14 12:00


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said Thursday that monetary policy is in a good place and only a material change would prompt a change in rates.

    The three rate cuts this year were meant to provide insurance against downside risks emanating from slowing investment and growth due to trade disputes and geopolitical tensions, "and that's what they've done," he said.

    "The economy is in a good place, and monetary policy is as well," he said in remarks prepared for a San Francisco Fed conference.