Connect with us

Business

Canadian retail sales continue rising after pandemic plunge – CBC.ca

Published

 on


Canadian retail sales for October came in stronger than expected, rising by 0.4 per cent.

Statistics Canada reported Friday that total sales activity for the month hit $54.6 billion, marking the sixth consecutive monthly increase since the record decline in April.

The sales growth was led by motor vehicle and parts dealers, Statistics Canada said. Sales at new car dealerships was up 0.8 per cent.

The consensus expectation of economists had been for sales to rise by 0.2 per cent in October, following the 1.9 per cent jump seen in September.

Sales in British Columbia rose by 2.1 per cent, with health and personal care stores, as well as building material and garden equipment and supplies dealers, contributing the most to the increase. In Alberta, sales rose 1.1 per cent on higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers.

In Ontario, retail activity fell for the first time since April, coinciding with a record number of COVID-19 cases and stricter public health measures within the province. Sales in Ontario were down by 0.4 per cent, with the drop led by clothing and clothing accessories stores.

Statistics Canada said its advance outlook for November is that retail activity is expected to remain relatively unchanged.

“Retail sales achieved a remarkable recovery, having etched out a V-shaped rebound,” BMO economist Priscilla Thiagamoorthy said in a commentary.

“But, with tighter restrictions amid an outbreak in new virus cases, expect some softness in activity in the coming months.”

Derek Holt of Scotiabank Economics pointed out that total sales volumes are now five per cent higher than just before the pandemic hit “and so the overall sector has more than recovered.” 

Factoring out sales of automobiles and gasoline, sales volumes are up by almost eight per cent compared to pre-pandemic levels, he said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Ontario to delay second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by up to 42 days – 680 News

Published

 on


Provincial health officials say they are delaying administering the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVD-19 shot in order to deal with a temporary disruption in delivery of the vaccine.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, says long-term care residents along with their essential caregives and staff who have already received the first dose will now get the second dose in 21 to 27 days.

Williams says all other recipients of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine will now get their second shot between 21 and 42 days after the first dose.

Those schedule for individuals who received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine will remain unchanged at 28 days for the second shot.

The province says if you have received the first dose of the vaccine, you will be contacted by your vaccination site if there are any changes made to the scheduling of the second dose.

Due to work to expand its European manufacturing facility, Pfizer-BioNtech said production of its COVD-19 vaccine will be impacted for a few weeks. As a result, Pfizer is temporarily reducing deliveries at its European facility to all countries receiving its vaccine, including Canada.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

COVID-19 changed how we work. Will it stick? – CBC.ca

Published

 on


How we work was heating up to be an important debate long before the pandemic added rocket fuel to remote working capacity. Now, millions of people have spent the past 10 months in a pandemic-imposed trial. They have set up a corner of their home as an all-in-one office, school and living area.

Some love it. Pat Suwalski does not.

Suwalski is part of a historic shift in the job market. At the peak of the pandemic lockdowns in April, more than 40 per cent of those still working at least half their usual hours were working from home, according to Statistics Canada.

That number declined to around 26 per cent in September 2020 before “increasingly slightly in the fall,” the agency said.

“In three industries — professional, scientific and technical services; finance, insurance, real estate, rental and leasing; and public administration — working from home has remained at elevated levels,” it said.

In areas such as education, which was affected by school shutdowns and the shift to remote learning early in the pandemic, only about a third of people were working from home by December compared to close to half in April.

City centres, like this one in Ottawa, are practically empty as many employees continue to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brian Morris/CBC)

The question among experts, economists and business owners is how many of them will return to their workplaces when the crisis is over.

“I’m pretty enthusiastic to get back to the office whenever it’s possible to do so,” said Suwalski, a developer for a small software firm called Vectorface in Ottawa.

Suwalski usually shares an office with 15 co-workers. Now, he shares a room with his son Jacob who’s on a Zoom call with his kindergarten class. Meanwhile, his three-year-old daughter is at daycare.

Suwalski misses in-person meetings. He misses impromptu hangouts in the hallways. He even misses his commute.

“I’m in a car by myself,” he said. “I can either listen to the radio or focus on my thoughts.”

Suwalski thinks others will also want to return to their offices.

“I think, at best, we’re going to go back to a partial in-office presence and then work from home as well,” he said.

Software developer Pat Siwulski and his son Jacob share a work space in their home in Nepean, about 16 kilometres southwest of Ottawa. (Submitted by Pat Suwalski)

Demand for flexibility

It’s not just employees pondering a return to the office.

Margaret Szots, a talent development manager with the City of Toronto, is also trying to figure out what the future will look like.

She was working on a way to give employees more flexibility before COVID-19 hit. 

“We know what many of the issues are because we’re living them,” she said.

The benefits are clear — people don’t have to commute, they’re saving money and they’re saving time, she said.

However, the long-term impact remains mired in uncertainty, she said. 

“We were already on a trajectory to this new way of working,” she said. “[The pandemic] pushed us that much more quickly … We’re not going back to the way we were.”

San Diego-based Kate Lister, president of the Global Workplace Analytics consulting firm, predicted the pandemic would be “the tipping point for remote work.” 

Early in the pandemic, she estimated, “25 to 30 per cent of the workforce would work from home multiple days a week when the threat was over.”

“It felt like a bold assertion. Now, nearly nine months into the world’s largest work-from-home experiment, if anything, I’m feeling my estimate might be low,” she writes in a January 2021 report on remote work.

Margaret Szots, a talent development manager with the City of Toronto, works from her home. She’s wondering what the future will hold for workplaces. (Submitted by Margaret Szots)

For employers, remote work has offered benefits such as reduced eal estate costs, less absenteeism, lower employee turnover and increased productivity, the report found.

Looking ahead

Companies big and small are looking at their workforces now and trying to figure out how things will look in six months or a year.

Facebook said as many as half of its employees will work remotely for the foreseeable future.

In a virtual town hall meeting with employees in May, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that doesn’t mean employees have permission to decamp to their hometowns or a beach somewhere.

“Your salary will be adjusted if you change location,” he said, noting that’s a long-standing policy. 

But people who want to work remotely won’t be the challenge, he said. 

“It’s going to be that there are more people who want to get back into the office than we can support,” he said.

Avery Shenfeld, CIBC’s chief economist in Toronto, agreed.

People have had ample opportunity to work from home for years, and Zoom has been around since 2013, he said.

“I keep hearing all these people [saying]: ‘We’re all going to work from home forever,'” he said. “No [we won’t] because it’s not effective.”

When the pandemic hit, office towers such as these in Vancouver emptied out. Filling them up again will be more complicated. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

At least it’s not effective for everyone.

But that’s not to say there will be a flood of people rushing back to their offices next spring or summer.

Even once restrictions loosen, it’s not like giant office towers can just open the doors and let everyone back in.

“I don’t think there will be a single moment when this COVID period is done,” Zuckerberg said back in the spring, and the pandemic has only worsened since then.

Some health and safety restrictions will remain in place even as other broader restrictions are lifted.

Getting everyone to stay home was relatively simple. Finding a way to get them back to the office will be a much more complicated affair.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Vaccine manufacturers concerned about provinces delaying second doses: Anand – CTV News

Published

 on


OTTAWA —
While Canada’s top immunization experts have signed off on provinces delaying the administration of the second Pfizer and Moderna doses in an effort to begin vaccinating more people with a small supply, Procurement Minister Anita Anand says she’s heard concerns from the manufacturers that may impact future deliveries.

In an interview on CTV’s Question Period airing on Sunday, Anand said that some drug companies have brought up concerns with Canada or other countries not following the recommended usage protocols set out by the vaccine manufactures, as they are based on data from their clinical trials.

“That has not directly impacted our deliveries to date, but it has been a concern that vaccine corporations have raised with us in our discussions,” Anand said. While she would not say whether a company has outright said it would withhold future doses, she said the issue has come up in negotiations.

“It is still a recommendation from the manufacturers that we are hearing at the table” to follow their protocols, she said.

This week, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) approved delaying administering second doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for up to 42 days. The decision was made in the face of rising cases and strained hospitals.

The two vaccines that have been approved in Canada so far – made by PfizerBioNTech and Moderna — require two separate doses in order to achieve 94-95 per cent immunity for the patient.

These doses are spaced apart. Pfizer’s second dose is intended to be delivered 21 days after the first, while Moderna’s has a 28-day wait in between the doses.

The report from NACI stated that while the ideal is to follow the vaccine manufacturers’ recommendations, people can wait longer — 42 days or so for the second dose — in order to allow double the number of Canadians to get some partial protection by receiving their first shot faster.

However, contrary to NACI’s recommendations, Quebec public health officials have announced they plan to prolong second doses in that province for up to 90 days between the first and second dose, and Ontario indicated on Friday that given the upcoming temporary Pfizer shortage that province may also extend the timeframe between doses. 

SOME TRIAL PARTICIPANTS HAD DOSE DELAYS

In a separate interview on CTV’s Question Period, NACI chair Dr. Caroline chair Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh said that while Pfizer and Moderna have recommended shorter windows between vaccinations, in phase three trials for both vaccines, candidates received their second dose up to 42 days after the first.

“So the actual vaccine efficacy that are reported in those trials are covering a span from 21 to 42 days. It’s impossible to say if people who got their second dose at 42 days are protected better, less, or worse than the ones that got it before,” she said.

She’s suggesting Quebec conduct surveillance to ensure the vaccine remains effective if the second shot is given so late after the first.

“If we had enough doses to vaccinate all the high-risk groups right away with it two doses, we would stick to label. But at one point in time if you have to choose between vaccinating only a small proportion of your population, and let the variant spread very quickly, there’s no health gains here,” she said.

With files from CTV News’ Alexandra Mae Jones, CTV Montreal and CTV Toronto.  

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending