Nov. 30, 2018

ALBERTA ECONOMIC UPDATE

  • Finance Minister Joe Ceci provided Alberta’s Q2 economic update today:
    • Alberta’s debt is $41 billion; Calgary Herald is expecting total debt in-excess of $90 billion by 2023-2024
    • Provincial deficit 2018-2019 is $7.5 billion (Non-renewable royalty revenues up $908 million or 30%)
    • Forecasting budget to balanced to 2023-2024
  • Premier Rachel Notley said in a speech yesterday that Alberta needs to buy up to 7,000 rail cars to meet the goal of shipping an additional 120,000 boe/d. She also said the province is prepared to buy up to 80 locomotives.
  • Rail industry concerns include: rail-line capacity is already at maximum; off-loading is already at capacity; if you order 1 locomotive, it will take at least 1 year to receive and 70 would be multiple years; shortage of skilled manpower to operate the additional locomotives.
  • As a reminder from last week: Canada produces 4.3 million boe/d and transports 270,000 boe/d by rail while the US produces 15.9 million boe/d and sends 257,000 by rail.

GM PLANT CLOSURE

  • Prior to announcing plant closings GM had offered voluntary buyouts to 17,000 employees, citing stiff competition and a tough economy.
  • 2,250 workers took buyouts; the company was aiming for 8,000 ‘voluntary’ separations.
  • GM will close the Oshawa, Ontario plant at the end of 2019, eliminating 3,000 jobs directly and many more indirectly. GM is also closing 4 plants in the US.
  • GM is cutting a total of 14,000 jobs.

CYBERSECURITY

  • 58% of digital transactions now originate from mobile devices.
  • First half 2018 there were 150 million mobile fraud attacks globally. Approx. 1/3 of all fraud is through mobile channels of which most attacks are being done by web robots
  • US had a 44% Y/Y increase in mobile attacks compared to 24% globally.
  • 76% of organizations experienced phishing attacks in 2017 according to Wombat Security.
  • Marriott International said information of 500 million guests (including passport and credit card numbers) may have been accessed in a breach of its Starwood reservation database back to 2014.

TIDBITS

  • USMCA was signed in Buenos Aires, Argentina this morning. Next step is ratification by all 3 countries.
  • President Donald Trump rejected projections in a congressionally mandated report that climate change will cause severe economic harm to the US economy.
  • Q3 Canadian GDP grew 2% vs est 1.80% (Q2 2.9%). A lack of business investment spending and slower household spending were the drags on GDP.
  • Black Friday online sales rose more than 23% to over $6 billion.