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Third wave, constrained government spending biggest risks to economy: Poloz – BNN

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Former Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz said the worst thing that could happen to the Canadian economy during the COVID-19 pandemic is for the federal government to put the brakes on its virus-related spending spree.

“My biggest risk is we get ‘Wave Three’ and more, and for that reason maybe governments lose faith in the model and they have to constrain their spending. That would be my biggest concern, but right now, I’m feeling more optimistic given the vaccines,” he said.

While Canada entered the pandemic with an economy that Poloz described as “the best shape it’s been in for a long time,” data from Finance Canada shows the government’s support measures relative to GDP were among the highest across G7 countries.

But Poloz said it’s because of the targeted government aid and temporary measures like mortgage payment deferrals that Canadians have been “well-armed” through the pandemic.

“It boosted their savings quite a lot and at the same time they’re actually spending more,” he said. “So we have a very lively consumer with pent-up demand.”

He acknowledged there has been some permanent loss of demand and damage done to the economy because of the pandemic, but added the government appears to be thinking differently about fiscal policy.

“It sounds like they’re focusing a lot more on what we call ‘structural’ policies or investments. The first thing you think of is infrastructure. For example, you do a big piece of infrastructure and it serves us for 30, 40 or 50 years and it adds to the productivity of the economy,” he said.

“Anything that comes along that can tilt upwards the long-term growth trend of the economy will be really timely at this stage.”

Poloz said sustainability will be key when it comes to Canada’s ballooning debt.

“The rate of growth in the economy needs to exceed the rate of interest you must pay on the debt. Provided it does so, the stock of debt will shrink as a share of the economy while they service the debt. And today, debt service is quite inexpensive,” he said.

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India's economy probably resumed growing last quarter: poll – TheChronicleHerald.ca

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By Manoj Kumar

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s economy probably returned to growth in its fiscal third quarter after a recession earlier in 2020, economists said, and the recovery is expected to gather pace as consumer demand and investments shake off the effects of the pandemic.

The median forecast from a survey of 58 economists this week predicted gross domestic product in Asia’s third-largest economy grew 0.5% year-on-year in the December quarter, after shrinking 23.9% and 7.5% in the April-June and July-September periods, respectively.

The forecasts ranged from a contraction of 4.7% to growth of 2.6%. India is set to announce GDP data for the December period on Friday at 1200 GMT.

Economists have raised their forecasts for the current and next fiscal year, expecting a pick-up in government spending, consumer demand and resumption of most of economic activities were helping the economic recovery.

“Improving consumption, government reforms to boost domestic manufacturing and low interest rates will propel corporate India’s post pandemic recovery,” Moody’s said in a statement on Thursday.

Moody’s revised its forecast to a 7% contraction for the current fiscal year, ending in March, from an earlier estimate of a 10% contraction. It predicted 13.7% growth for next fiscal year, helped by resumption of economic activities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government earlier this month rolled out plans to fund a huge vaccination drive, while outlining a slew of tax incentives to boost manufacturing.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which has slashed its repo rate by a total of 115 basis points since March 2020 to cushion the shock from the pandemic, has projected growth of 10.5% for the fiscal year starting April.

“We will continue to support the recovery process through the provision of ample liquidity in the system,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das told industrialists at an event on Thursday.

However, some analysts warn that a recent rise in crude oil prices and a surge of COVID-19 cases in parts of the country may pose risks to the nascent recovery. Moreover, some sectors, such as retail, airlines, hotels and hospitality, are still reeling from the impact of pandemic.

“Growth remains on an uptrend, although the recent rise in pandemic cases is a risk to monitor,” Sonal Varma, chief economist at Nomura, said in a note on Thursday.

(Reporting by Manoj Kumar; editing by Euan Rocha, Larry King)

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Blue economy – The ocean… land of innovation – Investors' Corner – Investors' Corner BNP Paribas

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The seas and oceans are fertile ground for innovation and experimentation, with new technologies including:

  • Maritime operations at ever-greater depths
  • Robotics
  • Video surveillance
  • Submersible technologies.

Technological progress has been spectacular. In general, the open location of ports and coastal communities is conducive to the emergence of new ideas. Achieving environmental goals is a constant source of innovation.

Biotechnologies

The oceans are a goldmine for biotechnologies. Maritime resources can be used

  • In cosmetics (creams, seawater therapy, etc.)
  • For the agri-foods industry (food supplements, fertilisers, etc.)
  • In the energy sector (notably biofuels)
  • In pharmacology.

It is possible to create substances derived from algae for food and cosmetics uses. In addition, scientists have discovered that ingredients from oysters can slow skin ageing. The production of biofuels from the triglycerides contained in algae is another potential area of interest.

Lithium

Seawater is a virtually unlimited source of lithium, with the seas and oceans containing some 230 billion tonnes of it.[1] However, lithium is highly diluted in seawater.

Researchers have been working for years to extract it using evaporation or filtering membranes. They have already managed to do so in small quantities. Lithium is used in the glass and ceramics industries, to produce lubricant greases and in aluminium production. It is also essential in making electric batteries.

Energy

The enormous energy in tides, swells and waves is already being tapped. However, this is just the beginning. Innovative technologies will complement the systems already developed.

Source: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-technologies-ocean-energy-sector

The most favourable coasts are those between the latitudes of 30° and 60°

  • In the southern hemisphere due to the wave heights
  • In the northern hemisphere due to the length of the coasts in question.

The Bay of Fundy’s tidal power station between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in Canada and the one in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel in France were pioneers in the field. In addition to tidal power stations, systems using energy from waves and tidal currents (underwater turbines and wave power systems) are also being developed.

The European Union, already quite advanced in the field of ocean power technology, should be producing 35% of its electricity from ocean sources by 2050.[2] Reducing the cost of technologies generating wind power is one of the main projects on which the most innovative blue economy players are working.

Pharmaceuticals

The ability of marine organisms other than fish and shellfish to contribute to the blue economy is beginning to be acknowledged thanks to the new gene sequencing technologies for living organisms. Tests of antiviral medicines obtained from nucleotides isolated from Caribbean sponges are already under way. That’s how high the stakes are!

The oceans are a gigantic pharmacy. Marine species are providing the pharmaceutical industry with a wide range of new compounds that have already led to major applications in the antiviral field, but also in cancer and pain treatment medicines.

The animal, plant and bacterial species living in the oceans contain impressive numbers of compounds with unexpected properties that are of interest from a medical standpoint. Some are already known such as those from ‘cone snails’ – gastropod molluscs.

These cousins of land snails secrete neurotoxins. Researchers have been working with them since the 1960s. Cone snails have enabled the development of a compound used in a powerful pain medicine that is stronger than morphine. Researchers are currently working on developing new medicines from cone snail compounds.

Anti-cancer agents are being produced from marine organisms. An anti-tumour medicine has been developed from small marine invertebrates. The most promising medicines already come from the oceans. They have been on pharmacy shelves and have been improving our health for several years now. The research on marine organisms being conducted around the world should continue to unveil new therapeutic properties.

A flourishing sustainable blue economy

Innovation is an essential factor in ensuring that a sustainable blue economy can flourish. Blue technologies hold great promise for established and start-up companies researching and developing solutions that have a positive impact on the oceans.

As a global sustainability theme, investing in the blue economy is fully aligned with BNP Paris Asset Management’s sustainable investment priorities. These are focused on the energy transition, environmental protection and equality & inclusive growth.

We believe investing in the blue economy will help advance the fight against climate change and ensure that the oceans can continue to function as a sink for carbon emissions from human activity. Such investments are suited for investors with a long-term perspective, an interest in contributing to a greener future and making a positive impact.

In our view, finance can play a major role in pushing companies linked to the blue economy to improve their practices. Those investors who consider the preservation of marine resources as an absolute priority are set to see investment opportunities in companies that develop marine and ocean projects opening up as awareness of the blue economy’s appeal grows.


[1] According to Agence internationale de l’Énergie in futura-sciences.com 21/07/2020

[2] See energiesdelamer.eu 12/06/2020


Read more about sustainable investing


Any views expressed here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different investment decisions for different clients. This document does not constitute investment advice.

The value of investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance is no guarantee for future returns.

Investing in emerging markets, or specialised or restricted sectors is likely to be subject to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration, greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions (social, political and economic conditions).

Some emerging markets offer less security than the majority of international developed markets. For this reason, services for portfolio transactions, liquidation and conservation on behalf of funds invested in emerging markets may carry greater risk.

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B.C. economy set to grow in 2021, 2022, forecast suggests – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s economy is looking up — at least for now — according to a new forecast.

Central 1 suggests the provincial economy is going to grow by 4.2 per cent this year and by 4.5 per cent in 2022.

Exports and the demand for housing are expected to be the main drivers as economies around the world bounce back from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine rollout and development are also expected to help shape the provincial growth.

“Improved business conditions, rising exports and stronger commodity prices will drive a strong rebound in non-residential investment as firms begin to spend after holding back during the early stages of the pandemic,” says Bryan Yu, Central 1 chief economist. “For example, growth of more than 10 per cent is expected for machinery and equipment and building investment this year.”

However, while some sectors are expected to rebound, Central 1 notes the hospitality and “other face-to-face” sectors will likely take a longer time to recover fully.

According to the economic analysis, B.C. has regained close to 90 per cent of the jobs that were first lost when the health crisis began.

Despite this gain, jobs in the tourism and related sectors continue to be at levels far lower than before the pandemic.

“An improved labour market since the spring provides a solid launchpad for employment growth this year,” says Yu. “Average employment is forecast to rise 4.7 per cent, with growth sliding to 3.2 per cent in 2022.”

While Central 1 forecasts growth for 2021 and 2022, its analysis suggests there will be a drop to below three per cent in 2023.

Read the full report:

Central 1 BC economic forecast

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