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Economy grew 0.4% in August, StatsCan says – Investment Executive

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Weighing down the economy in August was the country’s agriculture sector, which posted its second straight monthly decline that Statistics Canada notes were the largest back-to-back monthly contractions since it began collecting comparable data in 1997.

The agency is providing a preliminary estimate for September that suggests real gross domestic product was essentially unchanged for the month.

Statistics Canada says gains in several sectors were more than offset by a significant drop in manufacturing and decline in retail trade, hinting at the supply-chain bottlenecks that have weighed on growth.

The estimate for September suggests the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9% in the third quarter, but that figure could change once the agency finalizes figures next month.

Statistics Canada says total economic activity in August was about 1% below pre-pandemic levels recorded in February 2020, a gap that didn’t change in September.

TD Bank senior economist Sri Thanabalasingam says closing that remaining gap could be challenging because global supply-chain disruptions and labour market imbalances could crimp output across sectors for months to come.

On Wednesday, the Bank of Canada revised down its projection for growth in the third quarter of the year to 5.5% from an annualized rate of 7.3% in its previous forecast.

“With supply constraints expected to continue to weigh on the economy through the fourth quarter, output may fall well short of the Bank of Canada’s projection,” Thanabalasingam writes in a note.

“Indeed, with today’s release, the bank may need to, once again, adjust its narrative on the Canadian economy.’

Governor Tiff Macklem warned high inflation rates are likely to go higher as supply-chain issues worsen in the coming weeks. He added the bottlenecks should eventually work themselves out.

CIBC chief economist Avery Shenfeld said Friday the impact from bottlenecks should lessen over 2022 if the source of problems, often Covid-19 outbreaks abroad, heals.

On Friday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland was in Rome to meet with her G20 counterparts where she planned to push countries to better share vaccines, which could reduce global outbreaks weighing on trade.

Freeland has previously said the government is keeping an eye on Canadian ports for signs of strain, but the Opposition Conservatives on Friday called on the government to do more to unclog supply chains and help grow the domestic economy.

“As global economies continue to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been more critical to have a plan to tackle the significant economic challenges on the horizon,” Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said in a statement.

O’Toole in a letter to Trudeau last week called on the government to work with the private sector and White House to shore up the North American supply chain given global challenges.

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Mindset Matters: The Responsibility Of Corporate Behavior In Magnifying The Disability Economy – Forbes

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Through a series of columns starting with the previous Mindset Matters piece, the hope is to open a dialogue around the significance of the emerging Disability Economy and discover some of the intricacies that are key to its very growth. As we mine deeper into this burgeoning economy of identity it is critical to recognize that this very concept is not static, but rather filled with complexity and nuances that must be explored further. If companies are going to truly embrace disability inclusion as a key stakeholder within their leadership strategy and a central theme to their long-term business success, then they must integrate key areas of knowledge that are essential to adopting a framework that radiates true disability confidence.

Corporations who choose to participate in this budding Disability Economy must understand the holistic nature of what needs to be done. A good starting point is to acknowledge the fact that the disability community is diverse, that the lived experience of disability cannot be seen through one lens, rather it must be seen through a diversity of perspectives that offer organizations a multitude of opportunities. Corporate leadership should have an awareness that while the Disability Economy is continuing to grow, it is ephemeral, in that it will continually change with each generation and each situation demanding new requirements that necessitate innovative ways of thinking and operating. It is this very awareness that will be critical for organizations to foster greater economic opportunities within this uncharted space.

So, what do businesses need to know? Corporate leadership must understand that to honestly immerse themselves within the Disability Economy in an authentic way they must identify with the value of needs. It is this understanding that must become the fundamental building block for corporate leaders to work on as they move forward while embracing disability into their business strategy. The value of needs is based on the notion that amplifying soft skills such as listening, trust, and empathy are central to pushing past barriers that are critical to gaining access to this new marketplace. 

The adage “Nothing About Us, Without Us” cannot be far from the mind of any corporate leader who is engaging in the disability space. For any corporate leader to be involved in the Disability Economy, one must begin with a level of trust. No matter what the product or service, having buy-in from the disability community is essential to the process. Understanding the communities’ needs is imperative, but it is also the first salvo in starting an ongoing dialogue between corporate entities and the disability community themselves. It is through this process that the potential for real evolution can happen, and new products and services can have real meaning within this growing market. 

As corporate leaders realize the value of need, the next step is making them habitual. The role of need must become an essential calling card for any organization doing business within the Disability Economy. It is not only critical for larger corporations but has value across many other branches of the emergent Disability Economy from entrepreneurship, social investors, to nonprofit organizations, and even government and educational institutions. These are topics that we will investigate further in future columns, but for the moment it is important to acknowledge the role behaviors play in expanding economic opportunities by celebrating the value of both the individual and the collective to shape the reality of the future.

Corporate leaders say they want to “do the right thing”, yet the question lies not just in the want, but the how. It is time for organizations and their leadership teams to be vulnerable and recognize that it is okay not to know. By identifying the needs of others to become a part of the habit of daily business life gives corporate leaders the flexibility to not only be prepared for change but move beyond a level of unconscious bias that offers a continuous mode of learning that will impact business both socially and economically creating opportunities for true disruption that can recalibrate the culture of business for the next century.

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Japan economy contracts 3.6% in 3Q as virus hits spending – Yahoo Canada Finance

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TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s economy contracted at a 3.6% annual rate in July-September as a wave of coronivirus infections crimped travel and other activities, the government said Wednesday.

The estimate for the last quarter, downgraded from an earlier report of a 3.0% contraction, reflected weakness in consumer spending and trade, the government said.

In quarterly terms, the measure used for most economies, the economy contracted 0.9%, compared to the earlier estimate of a 0.8% contraction.

The world’s third-largest economy was in a slump before the pandemic hit. Its recovery has been fitful thanks to precautions taken to curb COVID-19 infections. Troubles with supply chains, especially for computer chips used in autos, have also taken a toll.

Japan’s latest big coronavirus outbreak, in the late summer, has receded for now with a sharp drop in cases. But it hit during the usually busy summer travel season, with calls for restricted business activity and travel hurting restaurants, hotels and other service sector industries.

Consumer spending is recovering and will likely drive a recovery in the current quarter, Norihiro Yamaguchi of Oxford Economics said in a commentary.

“With supply chain disruptions easing in the auto sector, production and exports are also projected to recover, albeit at a moderate pace,” he said.

The latest data showed a lower level of private inventories than earlier reported and weaker government and consumer spending. It also showed wages contracted by 0.4%, instead of growing by 0.1% as earlier reported.

Japan’s Cabinet has approved a record 56 trillion yen, or $490 billion stimulus package, including cash handouts and aid to ailing businesses, to help the economy out of the doldrums worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Parliamentary approval of the plan is expected this month.

The Associated Press

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The global economic transition to a green economy – Lombard Odier

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