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Archive for 'consumers'

What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 4: Bernard Vallageas

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on February 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas. This is Part 4 of 5 sequential blog entries. – Bernard Vallageas Vice-président de l’Association pour le Développement des Etudes Keynésiennes […]

What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 3: Mario Seccareccia

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on February 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas. This is Part 3 of 5 sequential blog entries. – Mario Seccareccia Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa Editor, International […]

What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 2: Louis-Philippe Rochon

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on February 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas. This is Part 2 of 5 sequential blog entries. – Louis-Philippe Rochon Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University Founding co-editor, […]

What Have we Learned From the Financial Crisis? Part 1: Marc Lavoie

What follows are comments from a roundtable discussion held at the University of Ottawa on February 28, organized by Mario Seccareccia, and which featured participation from Marc Lavoie, Louis-Philippe Rochon, Mario Seccareccia, Slim Thabet and Bernard Vallageas. Parts 2, 3, 4 and 5 will follow in subsequent blog posts. – Marc Lavoie Professor of Economics, University of Ottawa […]

Canada’s Luxury Index is through the roof

Numbers season is over but good inequality data is still missing. January sees us regularly bombarded with a whole range of economic statistics about the previous year. GDP growth: likely 1.7%, low but looking brighter for next year. Unemployment: 7.2%, low but lots of workers leaving the job market altogether as the employment rate stagnates. […]

Black Friday GDP: Consumption Slows, But Inventories Jump

Ironically, Statistics Canada’s third-quarter GDP report on Black Friday showed the growth rate of consumption being cut in half. Final consumption expenditure grew by 0.4% in the third quarter compared to 0.8% in the second quarter. Household spending growth fell to 0.6% from 0.9%. Government consumption growth plummeted to 0.1% from 0.4%. In other words, […]

GDP: Consumers to the Rescue

Following positive GDP numbers in April and May, Statistics Canada reported today that a sharp drop in June dragged Canada’s economic growth to a mediocre pace of 0.4% for the second quarter. June’s declines in manufacturing and resource extraction did further damage to industries that had declined in April and May. Construction also declined in […]

Boost the Minimum Wage, Boost the Economy

A version of this article appeared today in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab. (This version includes references to the debate plus charts and graphs from data specially tabulated from Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey. The data don’t include the self-employed.) President Obama put the idea of raising the minimum wage on the radar in […]

The Loonie’s Stagnant Purchasing Power

The following note also appears on Business Insider. I owe Paul Tulloch a hat tip for reminding me of these issues in a good comment on my last post. When Ontario’s Premier recently complained that Canada’s petro-dollar undermines manufacturing exports, many economists tripped over each other to counter that a strong loonie benefits all Canadians […]

Luxury carbon

I was talking about carbon pricing and BC’s carbon tax recently and Michael Byers asked me about the prospects for a progressive carbon tax in terms of its rate structure. My first answer was that I liked the idea but was not sure how that could work in practice; that is, tax carbon and deal […]

We told you so: HST introduction a factor behind GDP drop in July

Among the concerns about the HST that we at the CCPA have raised was the poor timing of the tax change. From my pre-budget piece last September: If British Columbians respond to the HST by reducing their consumer spending, the timing of the HST introduction may actually slow down the economic recovery, which should be […]

The HST and Consumer Prices

This morning, Statistics Canada reported that the implementation of Harmonized Sales Tax in Ontario and British Columbia helped drive the national inflation rate from 1.0% in June to 1.8% in July. By comparison, the Bank of Canada’s core inflation rate (which excludes tax changes and volatile items) edged down from 1.7% to 1.6%. However, annual […]

Marc’s Summer Reading

With summer comes a lightening of my work load, so I’ve finally found some time to dive into a few interesting books. These are all related to my ongoing research interests (I do have some fiction sitting around waiting for a real holiday, with Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna at the top of the pile): The […]

The Privacy Issue that Harper Should Focus on – Credit Info

Since Stephen Harper and David Cameron seem to be on the same wavelength, and the UK thinks it can trash census and turn to isources like credit records for its information needs, the story below on privacy, from Alberta, may be of possible interest. Report of an Investigation into the Security, Collection and Retention of […]

HST and Family Budgets: What’s Behind the Vastly Different Results

That the HST will take a bite out of family budgets is clear to everyone. The main question right now is just how big of a bite. Two studies released in BC earlier this week asked this exact question but came to very different conclusions. On Monday, the Fraser Institute released a paper arguing that […]

Competition in the Canadian telecom market

Perhaps by now you have seen the TV commercials for Bell touting its much faster 3G network for web phones. Rogers is suing on the basis that Bell is basically making this up. What’s interesting about it, though, is that Bell, Telus and others entering the web phone (or should we just say iPhone) business […]

Affordability Gap

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a new study today comparing the expenditures of rich and poor Canadians. This approach is interesting because inequality is typically measured in terms of income or wealth. Conservatives sometimes claim that, while temporary fluctuations in income or asset values create the appearance of massive inequality at any given […]

More Cheers for Maloway

As an early booster of Jim Maloway’s private member’s bill, I am delighted to see it already achieving some results. Yesterday’s Globe reported that the airlines have countered by giving “new enforcement powers to CTA to serve as the industry watchdog on a range of consumer issues. They include ensuring airlines provide meal vouchers for […]

Three Cheers for Maloway

Canadian airlines are squealing that MP Jim Maloway’s proposed “Air passenger bill of rights” would “send airfares soaring and throw flights into chaos.” What strikes me is that American airlines already provide much of what Maloway suggests. They frequently over-book flights, but always offer free flights to induce passengers to volunteer to be bumped. In […]

Vanier Institute’s report on family finances 2009

has just been published and is avalaible here. It largely confirms research conducted by PEF members on household wealth, indebtedness and income.  The report highlights the state of financial precarity of many households, the gap between income and spending, the growing debtload and the important impact the “recession” (if we still want to call it […]

Phone spam

Spurred by his success in using facebook to derail the government’s new draconian copyright proposals, Michael Geist has set up a service to complement (perhaps, do the work for) the Canadian do-not-call registry. I signed up for that months ago and still get phone spam. I find this deeply annoying, especially when I have settled […]

My Natural Gas Woes

I just love the way “free markets” work. Here is a classic example of  price “stickiness.” In Ontario I have the privilege of purchasing my gas from an independent supplier under a fixed term/fixed price contract, or at a fluctuating price from my distributor, Enbridge. The rational economist in me tells me that it should […]