Central bank poll senses modest investment pickup, even amid U.S. unknowns

Central bank senses modest investment pickup

OTTAWA — The Bank of Canada says it’s detecting early signs of a “modest” pickup in corporate investment over the near term, even amid considerable uncertainty surrounding the U.S. economic agenda.

In its first business outlook survey since President Donald Trump was inaugurated, the central bank said signals of a recovery in business investment are starting to emerge after a two-year period of weakness triggered by the oil-price shock.

“The swing in the indicator into positive territory is associated with improving business sentiment from a weak level,” the bank said in its report on Monday.

“The results suggest a modest recovery in business sentiment.”

The poll results follow an encouraging data run in recent months for growth, trade and the job market.

The findings suggest a greater percentage of Canadian firms surveyed are more optimistic about the future than they were in January for areas such as sales growth.

The survey did find that when it comes to exports, many companies have concerns about the impacts of potential Trump policy changes, including increased protectionism and plans to slash U.S. corporate taxes.

But it also found that some of the firms surveyed between mid-February and early March saw benefits from the U.S. — with the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and the overall strengthening of the American economy.

The survey “again carried a more upbeat tone, flashing plenty of signs that the worst of the oil price shock is behind the Canadian economy,” Robert Kavcic, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, said in a research note.

The survey suggested that companies expect their costs to rise over the next year due to higher anticipated commodity prices, new carbon-pricing regimes in Ontario and Alberta, and the fact past exchange-rate depreciation has been largely built into prices.

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

TDCSS to end on-campus daycare service

NWCC committed to finding licenced provider to fill space

Terrace teen honoured at Commonwealth writing competition

Ariadna Sullivan among 12,000 entrants vying for top awards

VIDEO: Researchers rely on drones to survey aftermath of B.C. wildfires

UBC researchers are using aerial drones to study the historic 2017 wildfires in the province

Rent continues to rise in Prince Rupert, drops in Terrace

A report from Canadian Mortage and Housing Corporation shows the average rent has risen by $132

Cops targeting risky behaviour, auto crime

Holiday campagaigns aim to keep roads safe, valuables protected

Pool upgrade on budget, slightly behind

Completion is set for March 30, and opening will likely be late-April, early-May

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of sexual harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

VIDEO: 3 months later, rescued sea lion released back into ocean

The young animal was found in Campbell River three months ago

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read