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Kraft Heinz says production of its iconic condiment Heinz Ketchup to return to Canada – CTV News Montreal

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MONTREAL —
Kraft Heinz says the production of Heinz Ketchup is returning to Canada, with the company’s Montreal factory set to begin making the iconic condiment next summer.

The ketchup maker says the decision to move production back to Canada from the U.S. comes after a joint investment between Kraft Heinz Canada and the Quebec government’s business expansion program.

The $17-million investment includes a $2 million forgivable loan from the province.

The project is expected to create 30 new jobs and help maintain about 750 existing positions at the company’s flagship Mount Royal facility.

Bruno Keller, president of Kraft Heinz Canada, says the partnership with Quebec and increased efficiencies at the company’s Mount Royal facility made it possible to return the popular product to Canada.

The new ketchup line is expected to produce over 45 million kilograms of Heinz Ketchup for Canadian consumers in the first two years alone as production ramps up.

The company moved its ketchup production to the U.S. after selling its Leamington, Ont., factory to Highbury Canco in 2015.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2020.

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Canada's economy bounced back at record 40% pace in third quarter — but GDP still below pre-COVID level – CBC.ca

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Statistics Canada said Tuesday the economy grew at a record annualized pace of 40.5 per cent in the third quarter as businesses came out of COVID-19 lockdowns.

The previous record for quarterly growth in real gross domestic product was 13.2 per cent in the first quarter of 1965, the agency said.

As historic as the rebound was, it fell short of expectations.

Financial data firm Refinitiv said the average economist estimate was for an annualized growth rate of 47.6 per cent for the quarter.

The rebound over July, August and September was a sharp turnaround from the preceding three-month stretch, which saw a record drop.

Driving the rebound were the further rolling back of public health restrictions that allowed businesses to reopen.

Statistics Canada also said there was a substantial increase in the housing market owing to low interest rates, as well as household spending on goods like cars.

GDP still lower than it was in February

Despite the overall increase, the national statistics office said real gross domestic product still remains shy of where it was before the pandemic.

The third quarter ended with the fifth consecutive monthly increase in real GDP after the steepest monthly drops on record in March and April when widespread lockdowns were instituted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

September saw a 0.8 per cent increase in real GDP, Statistics Canada said, a slight slowing from the 0.9 per cent recorded in August.

The agency also provided a preliminary estimate for October’s figures, saying early indicators point to a 0.2 per cent increase in the month. The figure will be finalized at the end of this month.

“The fourth quarter of 2020 is still beginning with some growth, though less than we had anticipated,” CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.

“Looking ahead, the economy faces a December with harsh restrictions that will likely see another contraction in economic activity.”

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Statistics Canada says economy grew at a record pace in Q3 – CityNews Toronto

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Statistics Canada says the economy grew at a record annualized pace of 40.5 per cent in the third quarter as businesses came out of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Financial data firm Refinitiv says the average economist estimate was for an annualized growth rate of 47.6 per cent for the quarter.

The rebound over July, August and September was a sharp turnaround from the preceding three-month stretch saw a record drop.

Driving the bounce-back were the further rolling back of public health restrictions that allowed businesses to reopen.

Statistics Canada also says there was a substantial increase in the housing market owing to low interest rates and household spending on goods like cars.

Despite the overall increase, the national statistics office says real gross domestic product still remains shy of where it was before the pandemic.

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China’s factories crank up output, but jobs, debt remain concerns – Aljazeera.com

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China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest pace in more than three years in November, while growth in the services sector also hit a multi-year high, as the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic stepped up.

Upbeat data released on Monday suggest the world’s second-largest economy is on track to become the first to completely shake off the drag from widespread industry shutdowns, with recent production data showing manufacturing now at pre-pandemic levels.

But companies are still not expanding their payrolls, the figures show, and some analysts point to rising debt levels among state-owned firms as another possible headwind for the economy.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in November from 51.4 in October, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed. It was the highest PMI reading since September 2017 and remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. It was also higher than the 51.5 median forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.

“The latest official PMI surveys show that the pace of economic growth picked up in November on the back of a broad-based improvement in both services and manufacturing,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at research firm Capital Economics, said in a note sent to Al Jazeera.

China’s blue-chip share index hit a 5-and-a-half-year high following the data release.

Acceleration

The robust headline PMI points to solid fourth-quarter growth, which analysts at Nomura expect to quicken to 5.7 percent compared with the same period last year, from 4.9 percent in the third quarter, an impressive turnaround from the deep contraction earlier this year.

China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Indices [Bloomberg]

The economy is expected to expand by about 2 percent for the full year, the weakest in more than 30 years but still much stronger than other major economies that are struggling to bring their coronavirus outbreaks under control.

The official PMI, which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders stood at 51.5 in November, improving from 51.0 a month earlier. That bodes well for the export sector, which has benefitted from strong foreign demand for medical supplies and electronics products.

Also helping activity in November were aggressive e-commerce shopping promotions, which unleashed solid consumer demand and bolstered confidence for small and medium firms.

But a surging yuan and further lockdowns in many of its key trading partners could pressure Chinese exports, which have been surprisingly resilient so far.

More companies have reported the impact from currency fluctuations, compared with a month ago, said Zhao Qinghe, senior statistician at the NBS.

“Some firms have flagged that as the yuan continues to rise, corporate profits are under pressure and export orders are declining,” said Zhao.

He added that the recovery across the manufacturing industry remained uneven. For example, the PMI for the textile industry has stayed below the 50-point threshold, pointing to weak business activity.

Consumer comeback

In the services sector, activity expanded for the ninth straight month. The official non-manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to 56.4, the fastest since June 2012 and up from 56.2 in October, as consumer confidence gathered pace amid few COVID-19 infections.

Railway and air transportation, telecommunication and satellite transmission services and the financial industry were among the best-performing sectors in November.

A sub-index for construction activity stood at 60.5 in November, improving from 59.8 in October, as China steps up infrastructure spending to revive its economy.

Monday’s data also showed that the labour market is still facing strains. Services firms reduced payrolls at a faster clip in November, while factories slashed staff for the seventh straight month, although at a slower pace.

“The continued recovery reduces the need for further monetary easing, but any shift to tightening is also unlikely given continued labour market pressure,” said Erin Xin, Greater China economist at HSBC.

Another factor that could prove problematic for China is rising levels of debt among regional governments and state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

“The recent wave of SOE debt defaults has contradicted the overall data improvement, including the latest PMI,” wrote Daiwa Capital Markets economists Kevin Lai and Eileen Lin in a research note sent to Al Jazeera.

“Many of these companies should have benefited from a nascent recovery since the economy reopened. However, most of these companies are owned and controlled by local governments,” they said.

“They have been allowed to raise more funds from the bond market and run bigger fiscal deficits when the pandemic began to hit the local economy. Hence, when domestic demand indicators turn better, it is usually a result of more debt-driven stimulus being injected into various industrial sectors.”

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