Canada PM says Merkel win ‘a great victory’
“I want to congratulate Angela Merkel. It’s a great victory,” Harper said during a joint press conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta. The Canadian prime minister noted that he and Merkel are the only two leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations who are still in office after sweeping to power in the mid-2000s. “Her victory is a strong personal victory and really an historic one,” Harper said, “And I look forward to speaking to Angela in the next few hours to congratulate her personally.” It was Merkel and her conservative Christian Democrats’ third consecutive election win. Letta at the end of a two-day official visit to Canada repeated an earlier statement calling the defeat of Germany’s upstart anti-euro party AfD a win for Europe. “The success of an anti-euro party in Germany would have been a catastrophe for Europe and Italy and, for global cooperation,” he said. “That didn’t happen and that’s a very good thing.” During his visit, Lette discussed with Harper the economy and trade, notably ongoing Canada-EU free trade talks. Italy is Canada’s 10th largest trading partner. Lette told reporters Italy must push privatization, as it looks to attract more foreign investment. He also invited Harper to visit his country in the first half of next year.
In volume terms, retail sales rose 0.5 percent in the month. The July rebound matched the median forecast in a Reuters poll. Analysts had foreseen a bounce-back after sales slumped by 0.6 percent in June, hit partly by severe floods in Alberta and a two-week strike by construction workers in Quebec. Canada’s economy looks set to speed up after annualized growth slowed to 1.7 percent in the second quarter from 2.2 percent in the first, and gross domestic product in the month of June actually shrank 0.5 percent. RBC Economics economist Nathan Janzen sees July GDP growth at a solid 0.7 percent. “In turn, the strength in July GDP would be consistent with our expectation that GDP growth in the third quarter rebounded to a 3.4 (annualized) percent rate,” he wrote in a note to clients. Mazen Issa, an economist at TD Securities, sees third quarter growth of just below 2 percent. Both estimates are below the Bank of Canada’s latest projection of 3.8 percent expansion in the third quarter. But the second quarter turned out to be stronger than the central bank’s 1.0 percent estimate, so overall the performance over the two quarters may not substantially change its outlook. “The Bank of Canada will look through the volatility in the data, and over the latter half of the year we see the economy straddling its trend rate of growth owing to a slightly softer consumer spending profile (around 2 percent) and a slow rotation to exports and investment,” Issa said. The Bank of Canada is expected to hold its key interest rate steady until late 2014. [CA/POLL} Gains were reported in eight of the 11 retail subsectors tracked by Statistics Canada in July, representing 52 percent of total retail activity. Gasoline stations had the biggest jump in sales, up 3.2 percent due to higher prices and volumes. General merchandise stores, clothing retailers and health and personal-care stores also posted significant gains.
UPDATE 2-Canada may be set for growth spurt after July retail bounce
No one has a right or entitlement to an honour, Mohr told court Tuesday. The council was not obliged to wait 10 months for Drabinsky to get out of prison, she added. Koch argued Tuesday that no appeal process of the decision is provided for by the council. The position of the council seems to be that the Governor General, in signing the termination order, has done something magic that cannot be undone, he said. The review of Drabinsky’s Order of Canada was prompted by a letter from a member of the public which said the Livent fraud undermined the order. A criminal conviction does not mean automatic removal from the order. Drabinsky is only the fifth person to lose the honour and noted in his letter to the advisory council that disgraced Olympian Ben Johnson continues to be a member of the order. Fellow high profile fraud convict Conrad Black has also been stripped of his Order of Canada and has had his request for an oral hearing to argue his case to the advisory council denied by a federal court. Drabinsky, called to the bar in 1975, has agreed not to practice. However, the Law Society of Upper Canada has launched proceedings against Drabinsky for conduct unbecoming to a licensee that may result in the loss of his licence. The Ontario Securities Comission is also reopening its regulatory case against Drabinsky, Gottlieb and a third Livent executive Gordon Eckstein.