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“The Bank of Japan’s actions were inevitable once the Fed acted last week given the pressure their exporters are under. Even though they have only done an extra ¥10-trillion they do have scope to do much more, given the pledges by Bernanke and Draghi to do unlimited buying.”

At this point, the outcome of the Bank of Japan’s move today is uncertain. Adam Cole of RBC in Europe, for example, believes it will be “largely irrelevant” for the yen.

“Whether the BOJ will squeeze domestic investors out of the yen and into foreign currencies is uncertain but more aggressive monetary easing is  always to be welcomed in deflation-struck Japan,” added Kit Juckes, the chief of foreign exchange at Société Générale.

Progress in auto talks
Chrysler Group LLC and General Motors Co. have still not agreed to match the terms of a contract the Canadian Auto Workers union has negotiated with Ford Motor Co., but progress is being made in negotiations, the CAW says.

The union is pushing Chrysler and GM to match the Ford deal in what is known as pattern bargaining, where an agreement reached with one of the Detroit Three auto makers serves as a template for all of them, The Globe and Mail's Greg Keenan reports.

Why homes are getting smaller
It’s not so much that we’re running out of space as we are people.

Today’s census numbers from Statistics Canada highlights why Canadian houses and condos are getting smaller.

It’s partly because households are getting smaller, and that’s filtering through the housing and related sectors.

First, notes senior economist Sonya Gulati of Toronto-Dominion Bank, there’s a trend toward households of just one or two people. At the same time, Canadians are having fewer children, according to the 2011 data.

So, over all there are smaller households.

“The trend towards one- and two-person households helps explain why new houses and condo units are being built smaller than they once were,” Ms. Gulati said.

“There is also growing demand for furniture for urban living and/or tight spaces. High home and land prices and reduced home affordability also help explain why living spaces are getting smaller.”

And as The Canadian Press reports, today’s numbers also show how high-rise apartments have sprung up across the country.

Ms. Gulati also noted that households increased at a pace of about 189,000 a year between 2006 and 2011. That’s below, for example, the annual pace of construction starts in Canada so far this year, at 218,000.

“This reaffirms TD Economics’ long-standing notion that the pace of homebuilding in Canada is getting ahead of housing demand and underlying demographic fundamentals.”

Housing market cools
Home prices rose just 0.2 per cent in August from July, the smallest increase for the month of August in 12 years, according to the Teranet-National Bank National Composite House Price Index.

Prices declined in three of the three metropolitan housing markets that were surveyed, The Globe and Mail's Tara Perkins reports. In Vancouver they dropped 1.2 per cent, in Victoria 0.7 per cent, and in Quebec City 0.6 per cent.

The house price index was up 4.1 per cent from a year ago.

What the iPhone means
Even as Apple Inc. processes a record 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5, an analyst report released today notes Canada’s major wireless companies see less of a positive return from each successive iPhone launch, The Globe and Mail's Iain Marlow rites.

Huge pent up demand for Apple Inc.’s incredibly popular smartphone usually crimps profit margins at big wireless carriers. Telecoms such as BCE Inc., Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. have to pay out in order to subsidize consumers’ purchases of the expensive devices, though they benefit in the long term by tossing them on lengthy contracts.

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