Good morning all;
I hope you had wonderful Passover and have a great Easter Weekend!
A very good friend and client of mine was featured in the Globe and Mai yesterday in the Small to medium Business section. Claudio David, owner and president of the company Office Coffee Solutions is poised to earn over $6 million in revenues this year with more than 30 employees. And, it all started with a lie!
I love these successful entrepreneurial stories! When I run into challenging times is business or talk to individuals having challenging times in business I always think and say “it will make for a better story!”
Bank of Canada says inflation rise hasn’t shaken neutral stance. – By Louise Egan and Leah Schnurr April 16th/2014
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian central bank chief Stephen Poloz said on Wednesday an interest rate cut is still a possibility even though the bank forecasts inflation will pick up speed this year and approach its 2 percent target.
The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate at 1 percent, as expected, extending a 3-1/2 year freeze on borrowing costs.
Poloz described the bank’s monetary policy stance as neutral, as it has been since last October, meaning there is just as much chance of a rate cut as of a hike.
Following the release of some stronger economic data recently, market players had been watching for any sign he would change his tone on inflation to be less dovish than he was in the bank’s March and January rate statements.
But in its Wednesday statement, the bank repeated that “the downside risks to inflation remain important”, although there are also risks associated with near record-high household debt.
“We are neutral. And that means that rate cuts cannot be taken off the table at this stage,” Poloz told reporters.
“I would remind you that inflation today is almost exactly what is was in January, when we last put out an MPR (Monetary Policy Report).”
The bank said the timing and direction of its next rate move will depend on data. In a Reuters poll published on April 9, economists predicted the bank would not make a move on rates until the third quarter of 2015, when they forecast it would opt for 25 basis point rise. “There is still a remote chance … maybe 20 or 30 percent at most, that a rate cut scenario could be in the cards, but I think that is unlikely,” said Derek Holt, economist at Scotiabank. Traders have been pricing in a very small chance of a rate cut later this year and they slimmed down that bet further after the bank’s Wednesday press conference and quarterly Monetary Policy Report.
VIEW ON ‘LOWFLATION’
The biggest change in the bank’s forecasts came in the Monetary Policy Report, with the bank saying it sees a faster than expected rise in Canada’s headline inflation rate, which has been below its 2 percent target for nearly two years.
The bank now sees the rate hitting 2 percent in the first quarter of 2015 and staying there through 2016. In January, the bank forecast it would not reach 2 percent until the fourth quarter of next year.
However, the bank suggested it would not react to the increase in that inflation measure because it will mainly reflect temporary upward pressure from higher gasoline and natural gas prices and a weaker Canadian dollar. Core inflation, which strips out volatile items, is seen taking longer to regain momentum due to excess slack in the economy and intense retail competition. The bank’s projections for core inflation are largely unchanged from January and show a return to 2 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Total inflation will stay at about 2 percent, it said. That’s because as the effect of higher fuel prices fades, the downward pressure from retail competition is expected to persist for another 1-1/2 years and excess capacity will be absorbed.
Still, most economists said Poloz seemed a little less worried about disinflation than he was a few weeks ago. “Somehow, the bank managed to find a way to sound even more concerned about ‘lowflation’ even as they upgraded the forecast for headline inflation,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.
“They can’t ignore headline inflation if energy and food prices start to run wild. They can’t turn a blind eye to that, but they would largely focus on the core inflation outlook.”
The bank said it expected the drivers of growth and inflation in Canada to gradually strengthen as the United States recovers from a weather-related slowdown. But its outlooks for exports and business investment remain weaker than in its January forecasts.
It cut its forecast for Canadian economic growth in this year’s first quarter to 1.5 percent from 2.5 percent, annualized, and predicted growth of 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent in 2014 and 2015, respectively. It raised its inflation forecast for the first quarter to 1.3 percent from 0.9 percent.
Some relatively quick value renos to consider in getting your home ready for resale.
1. If you’ve got carpeting or worn linoleum, installing tile is a great way to update the look of your home. Stone tile such as slate, flagstone or marble is elegant but pricey. These days, ceramic and porcelain lookalikes will do the job at a fraction of the cost. ‘Five or ten years ago, changing your flooring was a major deal,’ says Linda Makins of Makins Ladna Design in Mississauga, Ont. ‘But these new products don’t require nearly the maintenance or cost.’ If you can’t afford to an entire floor, consider doing the front entryway. It’s the first thing people see when they walk in the door, and it will give your home a fresh and stately presence.
2. If your family room or den lacks character or architectural detailing, built-in bookshelves are a great idea. They give a room a sense of permanence and a hint of luxury, while providing somewhere to display pictures, collectibles and books. ‘Built-ins can anchor a fireplace or give an area such as an alcove or landing a sense of depth,’ says Makins. Have a designer or architect draw up plans, use inexpensive MDF, and paint them out to match the trim or wall colour. ‘You want them to be part of the architecture,’ she says. If budget allows, include lighting: track lights on a dimmer will add ambience
3. A deck can become an outdoor living space when done right. ‘There’s a real trend towards expanding the usable space of your home, especially in cities, where houses can be small,’ says Makins. There are an infinite number of things you can add to a deck to create an inviting outdoor room: surround seating with storage, heaters, even a pergola. ‘You’re only limited by your creativity and your budget,’ says Makins. If you can’t afford to replace your deck, a power wash and some new furniture and lighting can create a newly-invigorated space.
4. Nothing gives you better return on investment than painting. A coat of paint can hide stains and update a house in a matter of hours. For a fresh kitchen, paint your cabinets and add new hardware.
5. New windows can be expensive, but they make your house look infinitely better and save you money on heating. Many provinces provide rebates
6. There are gas and electric fireplaces on the market that provide the warmth and intimacy of a real fire for a relatively small price. Update an ugly or obtrusive brick fireplace by painting it or installing a slate or marble surround.
7. From new potlights to new lampshades (or even installing dimmers), good lighting gives a home warmth.
8. Paint your front door, put up a new light or lanterns and add a couple of gorgeous new planters and you’ve just boosted your curb appeal by 1,000 percent,’ says Makins
The 10 Most Expensive cities in the world to live No Canadian City is on the list!
Cost of living score (New York City = 100): 117
With a cost of living score of 117, Copenhagen is 17 per cent more expensive to live in than New York City, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In fact, though it falls tenth on this list, one cost of everyday living in the Danish capital is among the highest in the world. At $2.18 per litre, only two other cities on this list have higher gas prices than Copenhagen.
6. Tokyo (4 way tie)
Cost of living score: 118
A four-way tie for sixth place begins with Tokyo, which just last year was the most expensive city in the world to live in. Prices, relative to the U.S. dollar, are falling all over Tokyo, thanks to a yen that has decreased in value from last year. In Tokyo, for instance, a bottle of table wine costs more than $3 less right now than it did at the same time last year
6. Melbourne, Australia (tie)
Cost of living score: 118
One of two Aussie cities to appear on this list, Melbourne is routinely featured on this list, coming in as the fourth-most expensive city in the world last year. Many prices have fallen year-over-year in Melbourne, though they are up a startling amount over a ten-year period. A loaf of bread in Melbourne, for example, costs more than twice as much today ($4.43) as it did a decade ago.
6. Geneva (tie)
Cost of living score: 118
How expensive is it to live in Geneva? Consider that, in the Swiss city, the average cost of a carton of 20 cigarettes is $8.72. In Kathmandu, one of the least expensive cities to live in the world, that same carton of 20 cigarettes costs just $1.53.
6. Caracas (tie)
Cost of living score: 118
How could a city like Caracas, where heavy government subsidization means gasoline costs next to nothing, find itself on this list? Indeed, while gas costs just two cents per litre in the Venezuelan capital, other prices are through the roof. A loaf of bread in Caracas costs $11.02, by far the highest such mark on this list.
5. Sydney, Australia
Cost of living score: 120
Sydney’s wine lovers must be up in arms. While most everything in the Aussie city is costly, its wine is particular expensive. Even with the price of a bottle falling nearly $3 year-over-year, a 750 ml bottle of table wine in Sydney still costs $22.58 on average, according to the EIU. Only one other city on this list has higher wine prices than Sydney.
Cost of living score: 125
For the most part, prices in Zurich are up year-over-year, though with one glaring omission. The cost of a loaf of bread (up nine cents to $6.19), a pack of 20 cigarettes (up 51 cents to $8.83) and a litre of gas (up five cents to $2.06) are all examples of price inflation in Zurich. Yet the price of wine is the outlier. Year-over-year, the cost of a bottle of table wine is down nearly one dollar.
Cost of living score: 128
Norway is one of two countries on this list where cigarettes are taxed heavily. In Australia, cigarette prices are north of $15 per pack of 20. Norway’s capital offers the same seismic cigarette prices. According to the EIU, a pack of 20 cigarettes in Oslo costs $15.44, more than double what it costs in nearby Copenhagen.
Cost of living score: 129
It is no surprise to find Paris here, for it is routinely considered one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Indeed, Paris, where the cost of living is concerned, is even on the rise, jumping six spots on this year’s list all the way to No. 2. The most notable prices in Paris are gas — at $2.50 per litre, the priciest on this list — and bread ($8.44 per loaf). Only one other city on this list has higher bread prices than Paris.
Cost of living score: 130
Shooting up this list five spots is Singapore, the city-state that is now the most expensive place to live in the world. Singapore has risen steadily over the years — it was only the 18th-most expensive city in the world a decade ago, according to the EIU — and here it is, finally, at No. 1.
Some things in Singapore aren’t all that pricey; a loaf of bread, for example, is the cheapest of all the cities to appear on this list, and a tank of gas in Singapore costs much less than in many cities. But some things single Singapore out. A bottle of wine in Singapore, for example, costs more than $25 on average, the most expensive mark of any city in this top 10 list.
Enjoy the next couple of shortened work weeks! Anthony