August 7 - In the News This Week: Five Business and Economic Stories Affecting BC

  • August 07, 2015

By Cheryl Maitland Muir

BCBC recaps the weekly business and economic news stories from the week ending August 7 relevant to British Columbia's economy.

1. Eleven week federal election campaign underway

This past weekend, Prime Minister Harper visited the Governor General to kick off what will be Canada’s longest election campaign on record leading up to the October 19th national vote. In the past week, we have already seen the first leaders’ debate hosted by Maclean’s magazine in which, according to political watchers, all leaders performed well. In the coming weeks, the Business Council will publish a list of priorities we believe any future Canadian government must consider to ensure a strong, prosperous national economy.

Catch the debate highlights according to Maclean’s magazine HERE.

2. Mediocre national jobs numbers released

Despite some positive economic news this week on improved non-resource exports, Canada’s economy continues to sputter, having created only 6,600 net new, primarily part-time, jobs in July. Despite British Columbia’s continued position as a growth leader in the country, we saw minimal changes in the province’s job numbers last month. However, year over year, BC is up 29,000 jobs at a growth rate of 1.3% - higher than the national average of 0.9%.

Read more on this story HERE.

3. Vancouver based innovations continues to make global headlines

This week, the World Economic Forum recognized 1Qbit, a Vancouver based software developer, as one of the world’s 49 most promising tech pioneers for 2015. The company, which develops software for quantum computers, is the only Canadian company on the list which has previously boasted the likes of Google and Dropbox.

Read more about the company and their achievements HERE.

4. Trans Pacific Partnership talks stall over automotive industry disagreement

Over the weekend, it was anticipated that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks taking place in Hawaii would reach a significant milestone. However, talks broke down over disagreements among various parties with respect to the details relating to the automotive industry – which is heavily reliant on a global supply chain.

For an update on the automotive talks, read this week’s article in the Globe and Mail. For more information on the Trans Pacific Partnership and what it means to Canada, check out the Globe’s July 29tharticle leading into this past weekend’s negotiations.

5. Oil price and the “petro dollar” continue to decline

The Canadian dollar hit an eleven year low this past Wednesday before returning to 76.29 cents US on Thursday and ending the week at 76.14 cents US in light of the weak jobs report. Not so coincidentally, the price of oil also fell this week closing at under $44.00 USD per barrel for WTI Crude Oil amid increasing supply from the United States and news of reduced investment and profits in Canada’s oil sands.

Read more about the Canadian dollar HERE and oil prices HERE.