CANADA'S LONG-TERM EFFECTIVENESS
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Thursday the low Canadian dollar and low price of oil make his plans for stimulus spending and tax cuts even more important.
Morneau appeared to hint that Liberal plans for infrastructure spending could be strengthened.
"With the slowing of the economy, we believe it's doubly important that we take the correct actions to help Canadians to do better," Morneau told reporters at a stop on his pre-budget tour of the country.
"We're playing close attention to the price of oil, and of course that has an important impact on the Canadian dollar, which we're also paying close attention to. In that context, we know that it's doubly important that we think about how we can make investments that have an impact on the economy ... and also think about how we can improve our long-term effectiveness as a country and to increase our long-term rate of growth."
The Liberal platform in last October's election campaign called for an extra $5 billion in infrastructure spending in each of the first two years of a mandate and $3.4 billion in each of the following two.
The Canadian Press has learned the government is now looking at moving up the spending schedule in response to worsening economic conditions.
Morneau has not provided any details, and has consistently said he is consulting with stakeholders and provincial governments as he prepares his budget, which is expected in March.
Morneau gave no indication the worsening economy threatens the Liberal government's list of promises — everything from ending boil-water advisories in First Nation communities to cutting middle-class taxes.
Morneau is also facing demands from the provinces to boost transfer payments. Some provinces that receive equalization want the Liberals to remove a cap, imposed by the previous Conservative government, which limits growth in spending on the program to the national rate of economic growth.
He was non-committal on the issue.
"I had my first meeting with the provincial finance ministers in December," Morneau said.
"We talked about the approach to equalization and transfer payments briefly. It'll be a continuing topic of discussion."
|June, 22, 13:40:00|
|June, 22, 13:35:00|
|June, 22, 13:30:00|
|June, 22, 13:25:00|
|June, 22, 13:20:00|
|June, 22, 13:15:00|
U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.