Oil prices, tax income keep Alberta first-quarter revenue in line with last year

EDMONTON — A first-quarter fiscal update from the Alberta government is reporting consistent revenues compared with the same period last year. The province says it brought in $13.4 billion from April to June — almost identical to the number in 2018. Resource revenue was $164 million higher, mainly from a narrower oil price differential. Income tax revenue was also up $166 million due to growth in household income and corporate profits. The three-month deficit was $835 million — $365 million lower than in the first quarter last year. But Finance…

Canada loses 24,200 jobs in July, pushing unemployment rate higher

OTTAWA — Wage growth accelerated last month to its fastest clip in more than decade, according to numbers released Friday from Statistics Canada. The 4.5 per cent burst came in a month that also produced less-positive data: the unemployment rate moved up to 5.7 per cent as Canada shed 24,200 jobs. The increase in wages — as measured by year-over-year average hourly wage growth for all employees — marked the indicator’s strongest month since January 2009. The reading, one of several wage measures closely watched by the Bank of Canada,…

U.S. House breaks with no decision on new NAFTA. What that means for the deal and the players

OTTAWA — The U.S. House of Representatives began its summer break today leaving the ratification of the new North American trade deal hanging, rekindling angst that a frustrated President Donald Trump will blow up the existing pact. Trade experts in Canada and the U.S. are divided on whether Trump may be driven to invoke the six-month notice period to withdraw from the current North American Free Trade Agreement — a threat he repeatedly made during the tense renegotiation of the pact that he pushed on Canada and Mexico. Mexico is…

Ottawa racks up $1.4 billion deficit in the first two months of fiscal year

OTTAWA — A new preliminary estimate says the federal government posted a budgetary deficit of $1.4 billion through the first two months of the current fiscal year. The Finance Department’s numbers show the combined shortfall for April and May 2019 came after government spending and public debt charges expanded at a pace about three times higher than revenues. The report says expenses during those two months jumped up 13.5 per cent — or $6.3 billion — compared to a year earlier, mostly due to increases in direct program spending and…

Ottawa is working hard to land trade deals abroad that businesses at home have never heard of — and may never use

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged European partners this week to finalize Canada’s trade deal with the EU, a push that came with his government facing a tough sales job at home: getting domestic firms to use it. A recent government survey suggests the vast majority of small and medium-sized exporters, which are positioned to benefit from the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, could very well be asking: CETA who? Fewer than three quarters had even heard of CETA The survey said only seven per cent of the surveyed…