Canada’s household debt is now highest in the G7

Household debt in Canada is now the highest of any G7 country, according to data by the country’s housing agency. The amount owed by Canadian households is also higher than the country’s entire GDP. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said high home prices are to blame for the ballooning debt. Household debt in the US and the UK, by comparison, has shrunk in the last 10 years. In a report released on Tuesday, Canada’s housing agency has warned that Canadians would not be able to weather a recession because of the high amount of debt they owe. “Unfortunately, Canada’s … Continue reading Canada’s household debt is now highest in the G7

US Federal Reserve raise interest rates to highest in 16 years

The US central bank has raised interest rates to the highest level in 16 years as it battles to stabilise prices. The Federal Reserve increased its key interest rate by 0.25 percentage points – its 10th hike in 14 months. The Fed signalled that Wednesday’s rise may be its last one for now. The moves have pushed its benchmark rate to between 5% and 5.25% – up from near zero in March 2022. Higher rates have sharply raised borrowing costs across the world’s largest economy, spurring a slowdown in sectors such as housing and playing a role in the recent … Continue reading US Federal Reserve raise interest rates to highest in 16 years

#ChinaisBack: China economy surges after pandemic measures were lifted

China’s economy grew faster than expected in the first three months of the year, as the country emerged from its tough Covid-19 restrictions. Compared to the same period last year, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 4.5%, official figures show. The key measure of economic activity was driven up by a boost in household spending and rising factory activity. Beijing pledged to boost the world’s second largest economy when it lifted coronavirus measures in December. Also on Tuesday, separate data for March showed that retail sales, the main indicator of household consumption, jumped by 10.6%, compared to a year earlier. … Continue reading #ChinaisBack: China economy surges after pandemic measures were lifted

Ukraine to clinch first IMF loan to nation at war

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says it has reached a staff-level agreement with Ukraine on funding worth $15.6bn. The organisation’s first loan to a country at war is expected to be approved in the coming weeks. It would also be one of the largest financing packages Ukraine has received since Russia’s invasion. The IMF recently changed a rule to allow loans to countries facing “exceptionally high uncertainty”. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to have a devastating impact on the economy: activity contracted by 30 percent in 2022, a large share of the capital stock has been destroyed, and poverty levels … Continue reading Ukraine to clinch first IMF loan to nation at war

Sri Lanka secures $3bn IMF bailout amid struggling economy

Sri Lanka has secured a $3bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it faces its worst economic crisis since independence. The deal has been nearly a year in the making and a lifeline for the country that has billions of dollars in loans. Foreign minister Ali Sabry told the BBC the government will raise funds by restructuring state-owned enterprises and privatising the national airline. However, analysts warned Sri Lanka still faces a tough road ahead. The country’s economy has been hit hard by the pandemic, rising energy prices, populist tax cuts and inflation of more than 50%. A … Continue reading Sri Lanka secures $3bn IMF bailout amid struggling economy

French government prepares for massive pension reform strikes

France is set for disruption to transport and public services, as unions protest against plans to raise the pension age from 62 to 64. Most train and metro services are cancelled on Tuesday, and many schools will be closed. It is the sixth day of strikes and protests since mid-January, and unions say it will be the biggest yet. More than one million people are expected at demonstrations in Paris and other cities. With the government showing no sign of backing down on its pension plan, one union leader has said there is talk is of escalation and “bringing the … Continue reading French government prepares for massive pension reform strikes

Russia’s economy performed better than expected

Russia’s economy shrank last year by less than had been expected given its invasion of Ukraine, figures suggest. The economy contracted by 2.1%, according to the country’s statistics agency, but this was less than an earlier prediction of a 12% fall. While questions have been raised about the reliability of the data, many commentators have been surprised at the Russian economy’s resilience. High oil prices and military spending have helped to support the economy. After the invasion, hundreds of Western firms withdrew from Russia. The initial shock forced the stock market in Russia to close temporarily and saw the rouble … Continue reading Russia’s economy performed better than expected

Argentina sees prices almost doubling amid rising cost of living

Argentina saw prices almost double last year as the country’s annual inflation rate hit its highest level in more than 30 years. Official figures show consumer prices jumped by 94.8% in the 12 months to the end of December. It marks the South American country’s fastest pace of inflation since 1991. Last year Argentina’s central bank raised its main rate of interest to 75% as it tries to rein in the soaring cost of living. On a monthly basis, Argentina’s monthly inflation rate stood at 5.1% in December. The monthly figure marks a small victory for the government of President … Continue reading Argentina sees prices almost doubling amid rising cost of living

Foreigners now banned from buying homes in Canada

A two-year ban on some foreigners buying homes in Canada has come into effect. The ban aims to help ease one of the most unaffordable housing markets in the world. As of this summer, the average home price in Canada is C$777,200 ($568,000) – more than 11 times the median household income after taxes. Some have been critical of the ban, saying it is unclear what impact it will have on Canada’s housing market. Non-Canadian residents make up less than 6% of homeowners in Ontario and British Columbia, where national statistics indicate home prices are the highest. As of 1 … Continue reading Foreigners now banned from buying homes in Canada

#GlobalGloom: Japan’s inflation hits a 41-year high

Japan’s core consumer price inflation edged up to 3.7% in November, the highest it has been since 1981. That was when a Middle East crisis disrupted oil production and caused energy prices to soar. But after decades of the country trying to boost inflation, Japanese consumers are now experiencing the pain of higher prices despite stagnant wages. Until now, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) had kept its ultra-loose monetary policy to boost its economy. But earlier this week, it surprised the market by raising the cap on the interest rate on its 10-year government bonds from 0.25% to 0.5%. As … Continue reading #GlobalGloom: Japan’s inflation hits a 41-year high

#GlobalGloom: Fed hikes rates again and warns of more rises

The US central bank has hiked interest rates again, and warned more rises will be necessary to rein in the rapid pace of price increases. Forecasts from the Federal Reserve showed the bank’s key interest rate could stand above 5% a year from now. But policymakers are starting to move more cautiously, following signs that the most severe inflation in decades may be starting to ease. They agreed to lift the bank’s key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points. That pushed the target range for the Fed’s benchmark rate to 4.25% – 4.5% – the highest rate in 15 years. … Continue reading #GlobalGloom: Fed hikes rates again and warns of more rises

India remittances set to hit record $100 billion in 2022

Indians are set to receive $100bn in remittances this year, according to a World Bank report – the first time a single country has reached that number. The increase was led by wage rises and strong labour markets in the US and other developed countries. In total, the amount of money sent back home by migrants around the world has grown by 5% in 2022. The money is a crucial source of household income in low and middle-income countries,┬áthe World Bank says. Remittances are associated with improved health and social indicators, for example increased birth weight and higher school enrolment … Continue reading India remittances set to hit record $100 billion in 2022