Mar. 1, 2019

CANADA

  • Canadian Q4 GDP grew at 0.4% annualized vs 1% expected.
    • Consumption stalled, government spending, business investment and residential investment all negatively impacted growth.
  • Canadian January CPI up 0.1% M/M (1/4% Y/Y) in line with expectations.
    • Provincially: Alberta 1.2%, BC 2.4%, Ontario 1.5% and Quebec 1%
  • Alberta Q3 fiscal update:
    • Deficit $6.9 billion (2% of real GDP) down $582 million from Q2 due to higher revenue and removal of the $500 million risk adjustment reserve
    • 2018 Real GDP forecast revised to 1.6% vs 2% in Q2
    • Net debt-to-GDP ratio is forecast at 8.1% for fiscal 2019, increasing to 10.7% in fiscal 2020 and 13.7% in fiscal 2022.
  • January completed but unsold homes: Edmonton a record 1,941 up 63% Y/Y, Calgary had 891 up 39% Y/Y.
  • Alberta’s power generation by source as of February 26, 2019: Gas 58.13%, Coal 35.84%, Hydro 1.52%, Other 2.61%, Wind 1.90%, Solar 0.00% (Source: Reliable Alberta Energy).

HYDROGEN FROM SEAWATER

  • New Brunswick’s NB Power is testing new technology to extract hydrogen from seawater.
  • Hydrogen will be burned in internal combustion engines to generate electricity.
  • Deployments could range from 10 megawatts to 100 megawatts.
  • If the technology is successful, existing facilities (ie: coal or natural gas fired) could be converted.

GLOBAL POLITICS

  • US opened an anti-dumping probe into steel imports from China, Canada and Mexico.
  • Tariffs on China have cost the US over $40 billion in lost exports.
  • Russian and China vetoed a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution seeking Venezuelan elections.

TIDBITS

  • 2019 world’s healthiest nation is Spain, followed by Italy. Canada ranks 16th, US 35th and Mexico 53rd. (Source: Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index)
  • Martha Stewart has taken an advisory role at Canopy Growth to help develop a ‘broad new line’ of products for both humans and animals.
  • US home ownership rose to 68.4%, the highest since 2014, led by buyers in their mid-30s and early 40s.
  • Debt among 19-29 year old Americans exceed $1 trillion at the end of 2018 (highest since 2007), largely made up of student loans followed by mortgage debt. Overall US consumer debt is $13.5 trillion.
  • Tim Horton’s is opening in China and will offer ‘salted egg-yolk timbits’ and ‘matcha latte’ in addition to their standard offerings.
  • China is planning a new national pipeline company that will allow foreign and private energy producer’s access to the infrastructure. They are also hoping to spur oil and gas exploration.