All Economy stories

Return to office… now

As Labour Day fades from sight in the rearview mirror, more Canadian employers are telling, not asking, employees to return to the office for at least a few days of the week. 

Driving the news: Among Canadians with hybrid work setups, about 60% are fully remote, down from 75% earlier this year, per a report from Indeed. With the summer holiday season over and businesses looking to start fresh for the fall, that number is poised to fall even further.

Tiff holds rates but leaves the door open for hikes

The Bank of Canada held its policy interest rate steady at 5% yesterday, but don’t call it a pivot—they’re ready to hike again if that’s what it takes to whip inflation, and they want to make sure everyone knows it.

Driving the news: The BoC said, “evidence that excess demand in the economy is easing” justified holding interest rates steady, but emphasized that it was “prepared to increase the policy rate further if needed.”

Canadians are loaded with debt

Canadian mortgage balances are getting swole-r than a gym bro getting ready for spring break.

Driving the news: TD, BMO, and CIBC disclosed that rising interest rates have caused 20% of their residential mortgage borrowers to see their balances grow so monthly payments no longer cover their interest owed, per The Globe and Mail.  

Prepare for pasta sticker shock

It might be time to cut back on the spaghetti carbonara… not because you need to watch the carbs, but to save on your grocery bill.

What happened: Stats Canada lowered its estimates for Canadian wheat production this year to 29.5 million tonnes, which would be the second-lowest total in eight years. It could present a 14% drop from last year’s bumper wheat crop due to droughts across the Prairies.

Canadian workers are staying put

As the labour market slows down, the “job-hopping generation” is deciding to stay put. 

What’s happening: New Stats Canada data shows that Canadians are changing jobs at the lowest rate seen since 2020, a sign the labour market is weakening, per The Globe and Mail.

Entrepreneurs see opportunity in city-building

Ever played SimCity and thought it might be fun to try your hand at creating a city from scratch in real life? You aren’t alone: A growing cohort of entrepreneurs backed by deep-pocketed financiers are giving it a whirl.

Driving the news: A company backed by a who’s who of the tech world has spent US$800 million buying up tens of thousands of acres of land as part of a plan to build a new city in California, per an investigation by The New York Times.

Andrei Bruno on investing in a confusing economy

The high art market goes low

After a record-breaking 2022, the fine art market has crashed harder than a Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture knocked off its pedestal by a clumsy gallery-goer. 

Driving the news: In the first five months of the year, overall global fine art sales have dropped by 14% compared to the same time last year, while sales at the Big Three Auction houses (Sotheby's, Christie's and Phillips) dropped a whopping 20%, per Artnet.

The question vexing economists: Why did inflation fall?

Why did inflation fall from multi-decade highs last summer to within the Bank of Canada’s target range last month? It seems like a simple question, but as with most things in economics, the answer is hotly contested. 

Catch up: The textbook Econ 101 story is that central banks reduce inflation by raising interest rates, which reduces demand in the economy through some combination of job losses, frozen or lower wages, and a pullback in consumer spending. 

Canada’s labour market slows

A slowdown in Canada’s labour market has sent the unemployment rate up… and could bring inflation down. 

Driving the news: New data shows job growth flatlining in July. But if you consider that Canada’s population grew by 81,900 in the same time period, it means labour markets are softening even more significantly under the surface, according to RBC Economics