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Indicator suggests Japan's economy stopped contracting in August – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Kaori Kaneko

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s government upgraded its assessment of the economy on Wednesday for the first time since May 2019 after a key indicator improved for August, pointing to a gradual recovery from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The index of coincident economic indicators, which measures a range of data including factory output, employment and retail sales numbers, rose a preliminary 1.1 points from the previous month to 79.4 in August, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday.

Based on the index data, the Cabinet Office said that showed economic activity in the world’s third-largest economy had stopped contracting, an upgrade from its previous view that the economy was “worsening” in July.

“There is a possibility that the index will grow further this year as there is room for exports, notably auto shipments, and consumer spending to recover,” said Koya Miyamae, senior economist at SMBC Nikko Securities.

“The economy overall has been picking up after hitting the bottom around May and a gradual recovery is expected to continue.”

The data offers some relief for new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who has pledged to contain the coronavirus outbreak and revive Japan’s battered economy.

The report follows the release last month of more upbeat economic outlook from the Bank of Japan, suggesting that no immediate expansion of stimulus was needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Also on Wednesday, the Cabinet Office reported the index of leading economic indicators, which is a gauge of the economy a few months ahead and is compiled using data such as job offers and consumer sentiment, grew 2.1 points to 88.8 from July.

Still, analysts expect the pace of recovery may not be strong enough to recoup losses caused by the coronavirus outbreak, underscoring the challenge for policymakers to revive the economy.

Japan’s economy sank deeper into its worst post-war contraction in the second quarter, reeling from the impact of the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Christian Schmollinger)

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Bank of Canada set to release updated outlook for economy, inflation – CTV News

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OTTAWA —
The Bank of Canada will release its updated outlook for the country’s pandemic-plagued economy.

The central bank in July said it believed the country had been spared from a worst-case scenario envisioned in April, but warned things could change.

Governor Tiff Macklem has said a severe second wave of the pandemic, health restrictions that extend beyond December and the timing of a vaccine or other effective treatment could all shift the country’s economic course.

This morning the central bank will provide a more detailed analysis of its forecast for the domestic economy as the country marches through a second wave of COVID-19.

Macklem has said the central bank will keep its key policy rate as low at it can go at 0.25 per cent until the economy has recovered and inflation is back at the bank’s two-per-cent target.

That means experts don’t expect the central bank to change the rate from near-zero when the bank makes its announcement later this morning.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020.

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Impact versus economy: C.B.S. town council mulls OCI proposal – CBC.ca

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This is a view of Long Pond harbour, where Ocean Choice International wants to build a new wharf and cold storage building. (Adam Walsh/CBC)

Conception Bay South’s deputy mayor says the town has to consider two important factors before it votes on whether to approve an ambitious infill proposal for the harbour in Long Pond: the impact on residents, weighed against possible economic spinoffs.

While Richard Murphy says it’s too early to speculate on which way he will vote, he says he does see the economic upside to the project. 

“In this day and age, when economic development is at an all-time low, we have a company now that wants to come into the town and set up, which means 30 to 40 full-time jobs, $15 million in startup,” he told CBC News on Tuesday. 

Murphy said Ocean Choice International’s proposal for a wharf and cold storage facility could also spark other economic benefits when it is finished. 

If approved, OCI’s proposal would see part of the Long Pond harbour filled in to make way for the new development. Some residents oppose it, saying the plans would have an adverse environmental impact on the area. They have been calling for an environmental assessment and for the project to be moved along the Conception Bay shoreline. 

This map shows how OCI altered its proposal to move it southwest in the harbour. (Ocean Choice International)

OCI recently altered its plans and shifted the project to the harbour’s southwest, which has traditionally been the industrial side, while the eastern side has homes and is also used for recreational boating. The shift opens up more room for small craft entering and exiting the harbour. 

In a media release Friday, company president Blaine Sullivan said the adjustments were made after getting feedback from Transport Canada’s navigable waters division, which is part of the regulatory process, as well as from people who have “shown an interest” in the company’s proposal.

This is a possible design of the cold storage facility from a local architecture firm hired by OCI. (Ocean Choice International )

“For a project this size, there’s been more openness, more consultation. We’ve set up a website, we’ve put everything out there,” said Sullivan in an interview the same day.

Sullivan said if the company gets the green light, he wants infill work to start as soon as possible so construction could begin on the cold storage facility next summer.  

Once completed, it would store the company’s frozen-at-sea product from five of its offshore fishing vessels.

This is another view of the possible design for OCI’s cold storage facility. (Ocean Choice International)

Ted Perrin, who grew up in Long Pond and uses the harbour for both commercial and recreational boating, said Monday the recent alterations make it a little better for boats to pass. But, he said, the plan still leaves a lot of unknowns, such as potential line-of-sight issues and whether the spring thaw could lead to an ice blockage and flooding. 

“You’re still building an island in the middle of the harbour that’s used by pleasure boats and commercial boats continuously 365 days of the year,” said Perrin, who is part of the community group Advocates for the Responsible Development of Long Pond. 

Ted Perrin, an avid commercial and recreational boater from Long Pond, has navigational concerns about the project. (Adam Walsh/CBC)

Fellow group member Andrea Canning wants much bigger project alterations. 

“It’s essentially in the middle of the harbour. So when we look out here we’re going to see cars parked in the middle of our harbour,” said Canning. “Why can’t that be on the shoreline?”

We’re going to see cars parked in the middle of our harbour. Why can’t that be on the shoreline?– Andrea Canning

Both Canning and Perrin say they want to see the company, the town council and residents agree on a plan that everyone is happy about. 

For its current proposal, OCI still has to complete a land-use impact assessment report, which would identify and propose mitigation of potential environmental and community impacts.

Conception Bay South Deputy Mayor Richard Murphy says while he sees an economic benefit to the project in tough times, he has not yet made a final decision on whether to vote for it. (Adam Walsh/CBC)

“We’re going to want to make sure that all the facts are laid out and the decision is based on good stuff for the town, good stuff for the residents. We want to try and get that balance,” said Murphy. 

He said a final vote could be within three weeks.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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A grim milestone and update on pandemic-plagued economy. : In The News for Oct. 28 – Humboldt Journal

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In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what’s on the radar of our editors for the morning of Oct. 28 …

What we are watching in Canada …

article continues below

Canada reached a grim and worrying milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, surpassing 10,000 novel coronavirus deaths.

Alberta reported two deaths Tuesday from COVID-19 to lift the national tally to 10,001.

COVID-19 case counts slowed across the country through the summer, but have taken a big jump in many areas this fall, with new daily highs regularly being set through Central and Western Canada.

Canada crossed the threshold of 5,000 deaths on May 12, a little over two months after the first one was reported.

Health Canada recently forecast 10,100 COVID-19 deaths in Canada by Nov. 1 as a worst-case scenario and now that number is close, Winnipeg epidemiologist Cynthia Carr said.

Carr said the increased spread of COVID-19 will result in more opportunities for the virus to infect the elderly and other vulnerable people.

But she said she doesn’t believe imposing further lockdowns on peoples economic and social well-being are the answer.

“We’re sabotaging those businesses and people that are paying the price because they are the ones that have been targeted as part of the solution to stop the spread.,” she said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau admitted today that the COVID-19 pandemic “really sucks” but added that a vaccine is coming.

Also this …

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada will release its updated outlook for the country’s pandemic-plagued economy.

The central bank in July said it believed the country had been spared from a worst-case scenario envisioned in April, but warned things could change.

Governor Tiff Macklem has said a severe second wave of the pandemic, health restrictions that extend beyond December and the timing of a vaccine or other effective treatment could all shift the country’s economic course.

This morning the central bank will provide a more detailed analysis of its forecast for the domestic economy as the country marches through a second wave of COVID-19.

Macklem has said the central bank will keep its key policy rate as low at it can go at 0.25 per cent until the economy has recovered and inflation is back at the bank’s two-per-cent target.

That means experts don’t expect the central bank to change the rate from near-zero when the bank makes its announcement later this morning.

What we are watching in the U.S. …

PHILADELPHIA — The lawyer for the family of a Black man killed by Philadelphia police officers in a shooting caught on video says the family had called for an ambulance to get him help with a mental health crisis, not for police intervention.

Police say 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr. was wielding a knife and ignored orders to drop the weapon before officers fired shots Monday afternoon.

Following a second night of arrests and reports of theft in sections of Philadelphia, a White House statement asserted that the unrest was another consequence of what it called “Liberal Democrats’ war against the police.”

What we are watching in the rest of the world …

Satellite photos show Iran has begun construction at its Natanz nuclear facility.

That’s after the head of the UN’s nuclear agency acknowledged Tehran is building an underground advanced centrifuge assembly plant after its last one exploded in a reported sabotage attack last summer.

Since August, the satellite photos show Iran has built a new or regraded road to the south of Natanz toward what analysts believe is a former firing range for security forces at the enrichment facility.

Analysts from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies say they believe that site is undergoing excavation.

On this day in 2008 …

Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page avoided jail time on drug possession charges provided he seek substance abuse treatment and stay clean for the next six months. Page was charged with drug possession in July after police found cocaine at a Fayetteville, N.Y. apartment. He complied with his probation conditions and the charges were eventually dropped.

In health news …

The Canadian Medical Association says ongoing surgical and diagnostic backlogs will only worsen without immediate government help to address a strained health-care system.

The CMA found average wait-times increased by one-to-two months for the most common procedures in the first wave and it would take $1.3 billion in additional funds to tackle procedures sidelined from January to June because they were deemed non-essential during the pandemic.

A study ordered by the organization looked at the six most commonly delayed procedures: CT and MRI scans, hip and knee replacements, cataract surgeries and coronary artery bypass grafts, which all plummeted in April, when almost no cataract or knee replacements took place.

Although procedures gradually began to rebound in June, the report found more than 270,000 people had their MRI scans — which can detect serious disease or injury — delayed by a national average of nearly eight months, more than seven weeks longer than before the pandemic. Those waiting for knee replacement surgeries had to wait an average of 14 months, about two months longer than before the pandemic.

“The impact on wait times is just going to be the worst-ever in our system,” CMA president Dr. Ann Collins says.

“It’s going to have serious consequences the longer this pandemic goes on.”

ICYMI …

An original member of the Jamaican bobsled team featured in the 1993 movie “Cool Runnings” is imploring whoever stole the nose cone from a sled that appeared in the film to return it to a Calgary bar.

Devon Harris, who is also chairman of the Jamaican Bobsled Federation, says he’s not going to lose sleep over the missing bobsled shell, but is disappointed over the news.

“It’s gone too far now,” Harris says. ‘”Just bring it back.”

Police say the shell was last seen at Ranchman’s country bar last week as it hung outside below the roof of the building. The sled was a gift to to the business by the movie’s production crew after some scenes were filmed there. The bar closed last month.

“Cool Runnings” is loosely based on the true story of the national Jamaican bobsled team’s debut at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary.

Harris, who lives in New York, says he saw a friend from Calgary post on Facebook about the stolen black bobsled shell with the Jamaican flag colours — black, green and gold — and immediately rolled his eyes.

He says the sled was a gift from a Canadian bobsled team and was later painted for the movie.

“It’s kind of like this work of art that somebody go hide in a basement and they are the only ones who have the opportunities to enjoy it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2020

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