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Bank of Canada maintains commitment to current level of policy rate, continues program of quantitative easing – Bank of Canada

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The Bank of Canada today maintained its target for the overnight rate at the effective lower bound of ¼ percent. The Bank Rate is correspondingly ½ percent and the deposit rate is ¼ percent. The Bank is also continuing its quantitative easing (QE) program, with large-scale asset purchases of at least $5 billion per week of Government of Canada bonds.

Both the global and Canadian economies are evolving broadly in line with the scenario in the July Monetary Policy Report (MPR), with activity bouncing back as countries lift containment measures. The Bank continues to expect this strong reopening phase to be followed by a protracted and uneven recuperation phase, which will be heavily reliant on policy support. The pace of the recovery remains highly dependent on the path of the COVID-19 pandemic and the evolution of social distancing measures required to contain its spread.

The rebound in the United States has been stronger than expected, while economic performance among emerging markets has been more mixed. Global financial conditions have remained accommodative. Although prices for some commodities have firmed, oil prices remain weak.

In Canada, real GDP fell by 11.5 percent (39 percent annualized) in the second quarter, resulting in a decline of just over 13 percent in the first half of the year, largely in line with the Bank’s July MPR central scenario. All components of aggregate demand weakened, as expected.

As the economy reopens, the bounce-back in activity in the third quarter looks to be faster than anticipated in July. Economic activity has been supported by government programs to replace incomes and subsidize wages. Core funding markets are functioning well, and this has led to a decline in the use of the Bank’s short-term liquidity programs. Monetary policy is working to support household spending and business investment by making borrowing more affordable.

Household spending rebounded sharply over the summer, with stronger-than-expected goods consumption and housing activity largely reflecting pent-up demand. There has also been a large but uneven rebound in employment. Exports are recovering in response to strengthening foreign demand, but are still well below pre-pandemic levels. Business confidence and investment remain subdued. While recent data during the reopening phase is encouraging, the Bank continues to expect the recuperation phase to be slow and choppy as the economy copes with ongoing uncertainty and structural challenges.

CPI inflation is close to zero, with downward pressure from energy prices and travel services, and is expected to remain well below target in the near term. Measures of core inflation are between 1.3 percent and 1.9 percent, reflecting the large degree of economic slack, with the core measure most influenced by services prices showing the weakest growth.

As the economy moves from reopening to recuperation, it will continue to require extraordinary monetary policy support. The Governing Council will hold the policy interest rate at the effective lower bound until economic slack is absorbed so that the 2 percent inflation target is sustainably achieved. To reinforce this commitment and keep interest rates low across the yield curve, the Bank is continuing its large-scale asset purchase program at the current pace. This QE program will continue until the recovery is well underway and will be calibrated to provide the monetary policy stimulus needed to support the recovery and achieve the inflation objective.

Information note

The next scheduled date for announcing the overnight rate target is October 28, 2020. The next full update of the Bank’s outlook for the economy and inflation, including risks to the projection, will be published in the MPR at the same time.

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BCCDC flags 8 Vancouver flights for possible COVID-19 exposure – BC News – Castanet.net

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The BC Centre for Disease Control is warning airline passengers they may have been exposed to COVID-19 on multiple recent Vancouver flights. 

Eight new flights have been added to the BCCDC’s list of affected flights:

  • Oct. 15: Air Canada 8187, Vancouver to Fort St. John (Rows 2 – 6)
  • Oct. 19, Air Canada 8484, Vancouver to Edmonton (Rows 7 – 13)
  • Oct. 14: Air Canada 299, Winnipeg to Vancouver (Rows 21 – 27)
  • Oct. 16: WestJet 714, Vancouver to Toronto (Rows 17 – 23)
  • Oct. 17: WestJet 139, Calgary to Vancouver (Rows 1 – 7)
  • Oct. 11: WestJet 141, Edmonton to Vancouver (Rows 1 – 6)
  • Oct.14: Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver (Not reported) 
  • Oct. 16: WestJet 725, Toronto to Vancouver (Rows 2 – 8)

Any travellers returning to B.C. are encouraged to check the public health agency’s website for updates about flights identified for the risk of exposure. Those travelling from outside of Canada, meanwhile, must arrive prepared with a 14-day self-isolation plan. 

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Another store in Orchard Park Mall calls it quits – KelownaNow

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Yet another Canadian retailer has called it quits in 2020.

This time it’s Montreal-based fashion retailer Le Chateau, which has occupied a storefront in Orchard Park Mall for decades.

On Friday, the company announced it will be closing 123 stores and cutting 1,400 employees who work in stores and at the company’s head office.

After 60 years in operation, Le Chateau Inc. is seeking court protection from creditors to allow it to liquidate its assets and close its stores.

The company said it has spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic trying to refinance or sell the business to a third party that would keep it in operation, but was unsuccessful.

“Its already evident impact on consumer demand for Le Chateau’s holiday party and occasion wear, which represents the core of our offering, has diminished Le Chateau’s ability to pursue its activities,” the company said.

“Regrettably, these circumstances leave the company with no option other than to commence the liquidation process.”

The company’s application comes after several other Canadian retailers have shuttered or downsized operations in the wake of the pandemic.

Reitmans Canada Ltd., Aldo Group Inc., DavidsTea Inc., Mountain Equipment Co-operative, Moores the Suit People Corp. and Laura’s Shoppe Inc. are among the dozens of retailers that have all filed for CCAA.

With files from the Canadian Press.

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Protesting COVID-19 measures 'just nonsense' — Windsor-Essex's top doc – Windsor Star

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Article content continued

“They think, ‘I know more than them — but I never went to any university or any school. I read something on the Facebook or I heard someone say that,’” Ahmed said. “It’s just nonsense.”

Ahmed said he is disturbed by the spread of misinformation, and lamented the “confusion and chaos” that lead to large numbers of people ignoring COVID-19 guidelines.

“Not following those measures results in what we are seeing right now in the U.S., what we are seeing right now in other areas of the country,” Ahmed said.

“I really worry about these people. They are doing a complete disservice to the entire community.”

Expressing his exasperation with anti-mask protesters, however, wasn’t Ahmed’s purpose for speaking with media on Friday.

In an update on the region’s COVID-19 situation, Ahmed noted that — in recent contrast to parts of the province like Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa — Windsor-Essex is doing well on most metrics.

For example, a new graph by the health unit shows that the percentage of local COVID-19 cases resulting from community transmission has not increased. Indeed, the figure dropped this month: as of Oct. 22, the proportion of new cases in Windsor-Essex that were acquired in the community is 25 per cent, going by a seven-day average.

A graph presented by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in an update on the region’s COVID-19 situation on Oct. 23, 2020. Photo by Windsor-Essex County Health Unit /Windsor Star

“It’s not bad compared to some of the other regions, and what it could be,” Ahmed said.

Local hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19, going by a 14-day moving average, have remained in the single digits since the beginning of September — a trend the health unit considers “low and stable.”

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