Canadians’ insolvency problems might not be as bad as everyone thinks, C.D. Howe says

The increase in Canadian insolvency filings may be less serious than previously thought, according to one of the country’s top economic research institutions. Consumer insolvencies in Canada rose to the highest in eight years in March. However, it’s difficult to know “how loudly the alarm bell is ringing” because the publicly released figures don’t distinguish between cash flow and balance sheet insolvencies, the C.D. Howe Institute said in a blog posting. Balance sheet insolvency is when a person is still unable to pay off debts, even after selling off all…

Canadian wholesalers post fastest growth in 17 months in sign economy is bouncing back

Sales by Canadian wholesalers in March rose by the most in more than a year, another sign the economy is emerging from a temporary slow patch. Wholesale sales rose 1.4 per cent during the month, the fastest increase since October 2017 and the fourth straight monthly gain, Statistics Canada reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting a gain of 0.9 per cent. The solid wholesale print is further evidence — along with stronger trade, retail and jobs data — that Canada’s economy is returning to strength after struggling in…

Canada’s job numbers make history with biggest gain on record

Canada’s economy posted record job gains in April that, along with a pick-up in wages, is the strongest signal yet the country is coming out of a six-month stint of weakness. Employment rose by 106,500 in April, Statistics Canada said Friday in Ottawa, the biggest one-month increase in data going back to 1976. That trounced the median economist forecast for a gain of 12,000 positions. The country’s jobless rate dropped to 5.7 per cent, and is hovering near four-decade lows. “As much as I try to poke holes in these…

The Bank of Canada is underestimating the housing slump, Capital Economics warns

The Bank of Canada may be underestimating the extent of the cooling in the country’s housing market as well as its knock-on effects for the consumer-driven economy, according to research firm Capital Economics. Sales of pre-construction units in Toronto and Vancouver slowed in 2018, making it harder for developers to secure financing for their projects, said Stephen Brown, the firm’s senior economist for Canada. That in turn is likely to impact employment and consumption, which accounts for about 60 per cent of the country’s output. “The Bank of Canada is…

How Vancouver became the world’s ‘laundromat for foreign organized crime’

Vancouver penthouses, ski chalets at Whistler, and holiday retreats in the Gulf Islands are among the thousands of properties identified in a dirty money probe that estimates more than $7 billion was laundered through the western Canadian province of British Columbia last year. The startling findings from two reports released by the provincial government Thursday illustrate how a torrent of suspicious cash has fuelled casinos, luxury car sales and real estate in the Pacific Coast region. “The amount of money being laundered in B.C. is more than anyone predicted,” Finance…