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  • Strong oil prices to boost TSX | Small Biz Advisor
    look to incorporate Federal stimulus details into its modelling ahead of a rate decision in April Markets were also eventually buoyed by easing from the ECB Read BoC says volatilty abating This coming week all eyes will be on the next Federal Reserve decision and their wording on Wednesday We also have domestic inflation data due later in the week which will likely show continued imported inflation The TSX was

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/strong-oil-prices-to-boost-tsx-4229?Print (2016-04-26)
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  • Employee contributions to spousal health coverage on the rise: survey | Small Biz Advisor
    Willis Towers Watson Its annual Willis Towers Watson National Business Group on Health Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey found that the use of spousal surcharges when other employer provided coverage is available is expected to more than double by 2018 from 27 to 56 The average spousal surcharge across all employers surveyed is 1 200 per year The survey also found that a small number 3 of respondents don t offer or have eliminated subsidies altogether for spousal coverage with another 10 planning to by 2018 Given the high cost of healthcare companies no longer want their plans to be spouse magnets which may incur thousands of dollars a year in additional healthcare expenses when spouses have access to coverage through their own employers said Randall Abbott senior health and benefit strategist at Willis Towers Watson Assessing the actual costs for spouses and determining how to best manage them can help create more efficient healthcare plans and avoid or reduce additional across the board increases in employee contributions While not as prevalent the survey found that a similar trend has emerged in healthcare coverage for employees children Less than half 46 of respondents have increased employee contributions for

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/employee-contributions-to-spousal-health-coverage-on-the-rise-survey-4227?Print (2016-04-26)
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  • BoC says volatility abating | Small Biz Advisor
    for the worse Most economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast no change in the BoC s lending rate this year while seven of 19 expect a cut The BoC has held its benchmark interest rate at 0 5 since July after two rate cuts earlier in 2015 amid the oil price shock Raymond Kerzérho director of research with PWL Capital in Montreal said by email that his firm is favouring high credit quality and short duration fixed income assets to keep portfolio volatility in check He adds Based on the prices of bankers acceptance futures the market expects short term credit market rates to remain where they are for the year While Q4 domestic growth was higher than forecast and annualized inflation reached 2 in January the BoC said upward pressures on inflation are likely to unwind in the coming months From the Bank of Canada s perspective the higher inflation that we ve seen is not a reflection of underlying domestic demand it s a reflection of the weak Canadian dollar said Frances Donald senior economist for Manulife Asset Management In my view the Bank of Canada is on hold for 2016 Donald said the BoC appears to be comfortable with the rebounding loonie which has risen almost 10 since falling to a 12 year low in January Oil prices have also risen helping the S P TSX composite index overcome its drop in value this year The BoC said it will also be analyzing the Liberal government s stimulus package details of which will come in the federal budget on March 22 and incorporating it into the Bank s April projections Young said he will be watching the federal budget for how fast the government intends to roll out the infrastructure spending Is this money that s going out

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/boc-says-volatility-abating-4225?Print (2016-04-26)
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  • Bank of Canada holds key rate ahead of budget | Small Biz Advisor
    billions of dollars worth of commitments such as infrastructure spending that it insists will help revive economic growth and create jobs The Bank of Canada also stood pat on its key rate in January after lowering the benchmark twice in 2015 In explaining the January decision governor Stephen Poloz said senior bank officials entered pre announcement deliberations with a bias toward making another cut to the already low interest rate of 0 5 Poloz said despite the weak outlook the eventual decision to hold firm came after they considered an important factor the federal government s promise to pump billions into infrastructure projects In January the central bank downgraded its 2016 growth projection to 1 4 from its fall forecast of 2 At the time it also predicted the economy to eventually bounce back and expand by 2 4 in 2017 Heading into Wednesday s announcement there was little expectation of a change to the Bank of Canada s overnight rate target Economists however were looking for fresh information as to how it views the state of the economy The bank s statement noted how oil and some commodity prices have rebounded in recent weeks nudging up the weakened Canadian

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/bank-of-canada-holds-key-rate-ahead-of-budget-4224?Print (2016-04-26)
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  • Consumer confidence mixed across Canada | Small Biz Advisor
    three months even as Alberta is hitting a new low the national index climbed 3 7 points in February to 83 7 But results were mixed regionally with Ontario Quebec and B C more optimistic Confidence fell in Atlantic Canada the Saskatchewan and Manitoba regions and in Alberta In particular Ontario gained 7 6 points while Quebec added 4 1 points in February However over the same period confidence fell

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/consumer-confidence-mixed-across-canada-4219?Print (2016-04-26)
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  • Low loonie to boost manufacturing sector: CIBC | Small Biz Advisor
    in the last cycle energy and residential investment worked to crowd out spending in other industries the coming years should see increased appetite for spending on machinery and equipment in the non energy space the report says And it might be happening already says Tal In fact 18 of the 22 industries in Canada s manufacturing sector reported positive growth in spending intentions and nine industries reported intentions to increase spending by more than 20 Although capital spending in a small number of relatively larger industries such as food and auto parts has been negative recent export numbers suggest that these may be turning a corner auguring for a need to invest in capacity ahead with the Bank of Canada s first quarter Business Outlook Survey giving further hope for a turn higher Tal forecasts non resource spending to rise by 2 5 this year and nearly 5 in 2017 Last year it was a negative 1 9 The Achilles heel of Canadian investment is in the area of machinery and equipment where growth has disappointed not only in absolute terms but also relative to performance south of the border he says At the current negative 2 the gap between Canada and the U S machinery and equipment investment as a share of GDP is the widest it s been in nearly 30 years That reflects the effect of a previously over valued Canadian dollar on plant location decisions and the very strong post recession recovery in U S machinery and equipment spending In fact at no point over the past few decades did M E investment intensity in Canada exceed that of the U S even at the darkest days of the great recession the report says In the oil patch capital spending fell by a thumping one third

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/low-loonie-to-boost-manufacturing-sector-cibc-4286 (2016-04-26)
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  • IMF cuts Canada’s growth estimate to 1.5% in 2016 | Small Biz Advisor
    demand for non oil commodities were identified as factors The IMF is now projecting Canada s economy to grow by 1 5 this year and by 1 9 next year That would be an improvement on last year s growth of 1 2 but less than the IMF s January estimate which projected Canada s economy would grow 1 7 in 2016 and 2 1 in 2017 The IMF is also lowering its estimates for the U S and the global economy overall with China being an exception It s now estimating China s economy will grow 6 5 this year and 6 2 in 2017 up 0 2 percentage points in each year from previous IMF forecasts The international body repeated a recent warning that the world s economic growth remains too slow and too fragile increasing the risk of social and political stress in many countries In addition the Bank of Canada will provide an update Wednesday on its key interest rate currently at 0 5 and an assessment of the Canadian economy In January the central bank estimated Canada s economy would grow by 1 4 in 2016 down from its fall forecast of 2 0 and

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/imf-cuts-canadas-growth-estimate-to-1-5-in-2016-4285 (2016-04-26)
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  • Ottawa says target benefits still a priority despite budget omission | Small Biz Advisor
    pension plans in our country Target benefit plans which share the risk between employers and employees are a hybrid between defined benefit and defined contribution schemes the goal is to collect defined contributions in order to secure a targeted benefit in retirement The pension benefits and contributions adjust over time based on the performance of the plan If the returns are lower than expected the plan can increase the size of the contributions or reduce the benefits without putting plan sponsors on the hook Canada already has active target benefit legislation for single employer plans in several provinces such as New Brunswick Alberta and Nova Scotia Olsen would like to see the government act on target benefit plans at a national level because he says strong federal support for the model would provide greater impetus for the provinces to adopt their own legislation Like Olsen Jana Steele a partner at Osler Hoskin and Harcourt LLP was also surprised that target benefit plans were absent from this year s federal budget She says she would have liked to see talk about changes to the federal Pension Benefits Standards Act that would allow federally regulated employers to adopt target benefit plans Ideally there would be a fulsome target benefit regime in that statute to facilitate target benefit plans for federally regulated employers she says Steele would also have liked to see mention of changing tax rules that currently don t take target benefit plans into account The tax regime is designed around defined benefit defined contribution and specified multi employer plans Unless you fall into one of these you re making a square peg fit in a round hole she says But not everybody wants the federal government to back target benefit plans Some such as The Public Service Alliance of Canada

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/news/ottawa-says-target-benefits-still-a-priority-despite-budget-omission-4282 (2016-04-26)
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