Dec. 21, 2018

Wishing you a very happy Holiday Season! 10 Second Headlines will return on January 4, 2019

CANADA

  • Alberta’s 2018 potato production is now in excess 2.23 billion pounds, virtually the same as PEI.
    • Alberta’s potato production grew by 132% over the past 20 years while PEI’s is down 18%
  • Canada has the world’s 5th largest Artificial Intelligence work force behind US, India, Germany and Switzerland.
    • Women make up 24% of Canada’s and 22% of the world’s AI work force
  • 1/3rd of Canadian exporters say they have been negatively impacted by steel and aluminum tariffs; of these 19% have raised prices and 18% have found alternate markets and suppliers.
  • Canada’s October GDP expanded at 0.3% M/M vs 0.2% expected.
  • Canada’s November CPI declined to 1.7% Y/Y vs 1.8% expected (October was 2.4% Y/Y)
  • Federal government has announced the proposed rules for edible cannabis, from candy to dried meats. A 60 day comment period now starts.

UNITED STATES

  • Federal Reserve increased rates by 25 bps as expected. The 2019 US forecast: GDP 2.3% (vs 2.5% previous forecast), full employment and low inflation.
  • Democrats will start Presidential Primary Debates in June 2019.
  • Russia says: “chaotic US decision-making is complicating world affairs”.
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that legalizing recreational marijuana will be one of his top legislative priorities for 2019.

ENERGY UPDATE

  • China, the world’s top importer, will start 2019 buying little or no crude oil from the US. This will not help China close the widening trade gap with the US.
  • To overcome US sanctions, India will pay 5 Iranian banks for oil purchases. In turn Iran will use part of these deposits to purchase essential goods from India
  • US Shale output is expected to offset any OPEC oil cuts. US is expected to increase daily production by 10% to an average of 11.8 million boe/d in 2019,
  • Exxon Mobil cancelled plans for the $25 billion LNG terminal in Prince Rupert, BC.
    • At least 15 LNG proposals in BC have been cancelled or stalled over the past 2 years.

TIDBITS

  • Facebook is developing a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money in WhatsApp.
  • China is increasing monetary and fiscal stimulus in 2019, including cuts to taxes and fees.
  • Flights out of Gatwick Airport were cancelled after the airport was raided by miniature drones.
  • Amazon mistakenly allowed an Alexa customer to listen to 1,700 audio files from a stranger together with his own audio files.
  • LG plans to sell TV’s in 2019 that roll-up like posters and retract automatically at the push of a button.
  • Saudi Arabia is cutting 2019 military spending by 12%, the 2nd straight annual reduction.