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City’s economy 58% recovered, Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority says – Global News

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An organization that looks to help develop Saskatoon’s businesses is reporting the city’s economy has recovered more than half of the ground lost from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Saskatoon Regional Economic Development Authority (SREDA) has created a tool to measure how the city is responding following a year of health measures and travel restrictions.

The Saskatoon Economic Recovery Tracker (SERT) shows it has reached a 58.5-ttper cent recovery.


Click to play video 'Impact of slumping economy on Saskatchewan businesses'



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Impact of slumping economy on Saskatchewan businesses


Impact of slumping economy on Saskatchewan businesses

SERT weighs different kinds of data like the unemployment rate, gross domestic product and retail sales to determine the figure.

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The 58.5 per cent figure is a 10-point jump from where it stood in December.

SREDA noted that’s due to a strong housing market, high commodity prices and retail sales returning to pre-pandemic levels.

“A variety of different positive factors there. Put those all together and there are small gains in each of those. But that goes to contribute to the increased number,” CEO Alex Fallon told Global News.

Read more:
Saskatchewan hospitality industry prepares for more COVID-19 restrictions

However, one sector continues to see few, if any, gains.

Tourism, travel and hospitality in the region is still hampered by capacity limits and travel deterrents.

SERT shows airport passenger traffic is at 13.8 per cent of where it was this time last year while the hotel occupancy rate is around half of its March 2020 figure.


Click to play video 'SREDA on Re-Opening Saskatchewan plan'



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SREDA on Re-Opening Saskatchewan plan


SREDA on Re-Opening Saskatchewan plan – Apr 24, 2020

Saskatoon businesses in that industry are doing all they can just to keep the lights on.

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“They’re hanging on by their nails right now,” said Hospitality Saskatchewan CEO Jim Bence.

“Thank goodness that our government has come to the table with a number of support programs because that has really allowed a great many of them to be able to just hang on.”

Those programs are helping more than just hotels and restaurants.

Read more:
Saskatoon International Airport ‘decimated’ by COVID-19 pandemic

Travel agents and operators are preparing for another rough 10 months.

“The way 2021 is looking, we’re looking at probably another year of virtually no income. But we’re here. We’re hanging in here,” Ixtapa Travel Saskatoon president Barbara Crowe said.

She added while ‘staycations’ are helping their bottom line, they don’t match up to the earnings brought in from international bookings.

Read more:
Tourism sector won’t recover until 2024: Tourism Saskatoon CEO

Crowe notes many travel agents work on commission and it has forced some of her employees to find a second job.

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With some operators offering refunds, that money is coming straight out of their bank accounts.

“When you’re a commission salesperson and you’ve already spent that money buying groceries and paying your mortgage and perhaps a car payment, it kind of really hurts,” Crowe said.

In December 2020, Tourism Saskatoon anticipated the sector wouldn’t fully recover until 2024.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Economy

Britain is ‘bouncing back’ into the same old economy – The Guardian

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Britain is ‘bouncing back’ into the same old economy  The Guardian



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Economy

CANADA STOCKS – TSX ends flat at 19,228.03

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* The Toronto Stock Exchange’s TSX falls 0.00 percent to 19,228.03

* Leading the index were Corus Entertainment Inc <CJRb.TO​>, up 7.0%, Methanex Corp​, up 6.4%, and Canaccord Genuity Group Inc​, higher by 5.5%.

* Lagging shares were Denison Mines Corp​​, down 7.0%, Trillium Therapeutics Inc​, down 7.0%, and Nexgen Energy Ltd​, lower by 5.7%.

* On the TSX 93 issues rose and 128 fell as a 0.7-to-1 ratio favored decliners. There were 26 new highs and no new lows, with total volume of 183.7 million shares.

* The most heavily traded shares by volume were Toronto-dominion Bank, Nutrien Ltd and Organigram Holdings Inc.

* The TSX’s energy group fell 1.61 points, or 1.4%, while the financials sector climbed 0.67 points, or 0.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 0.44%, or $0.26, to $59.34 a barrel. Brent crude  fell 0.24%, or $0.15, to $63.05 [O/R]

* The TSX is up 10.3% for the year.

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Economy

Canadian dollar outshines G10 peers, boosted by jobs surge

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Canadian dollar

By Fergal Smith

TORONTO (Reuters) – The Canadian dollar advanced against its broadly stronger U.S. counterpart on Friday as data showing the economy added far more jobs than expected in March offset lower oil prices, with the loonie also gaining for the week.

Canada added 303,100 jobs in March, triple analyst expectations, driven by the recovery across sectors hit by shutdowns in December and January to curb the new coronavirus.

“The Canadian economy keeps beating expectations,” said Michael Goshko, corporate risk manager at Western Union Business Solutions. “It seems like the economy is adapting to these closures and restrictions.”

Stronger-than-expected economic growth could pull forward the timing of the first interest rate hike by the Bank of Canada, Goshko said.

The central bank has signaled that its benchmark rate will stay at a record low of 0.25% until 2023. It is due to update its economic forecasts on April 21, when some analysts expect it to cut bond purchases.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.2530 to the greenback, or 79.81 U.S. cents, the biggest gain among G10 currencies. For the week, it was also up 0.3%.

Still, speculators have cut their bullish bets on the Canadian dollar to the lowest since December, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. As of April 6, net long positions had fallen to 2,690 contracts from 6,518 in the prior week.

The price of oil, one of Canada‘s major exports, was pressured by rising supplies from major producers. U.S. crude prices settled 0.5% lower at $59.32 a barrel, while the U.S. dollar gained ground against a basket of major currencies, supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields.

Canadian government bond yields also climbed and the curve steepened, with the 10-year up 4.1 basis points at 1.502%.

 

(Reporting by Fergal Smith; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

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