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Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s business and investing news quiz. Join us each week to test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines. Our business reporters come up with the questions, and you can show us what you know.

This week: The Bank of Canada kept its benchmark interest rate at 5 per cent, a two-decade high reached last July. This was the fourth consecutive time that it held the rate steady, while pulling back on its threat of further rate hikes. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy expanded faster than expected in the fourth quarter, with growth for the full year coming in at 2.5 per cent. Released on Thursday, the Commerce Department’s advance fourth-quarter gross domestic product also showed inflationary pressures ebbing further.

Also: There are new trends in social media, electric vehicles and disciplining employees.


1The federal government made headlines this week when it announced it would temporarily cap the number of student visas it will hand out. How many international students now live in Canada?
a. More than 250,000
b. More than 500,000
c. More than 750,000
d. More than 1 million

d. More than 1 million. Official figures show 1,028,850 study-permit holders at the end of December, far above the level the government had projected.

2Two things you can count on: Real estate never goes out of fashion and many money managers have names that sound generically similar. Case in point: Tricon Residential Inc., a major Toronto landlord, has agreed to be acquired for US$3.5-billion by the global asset manager:
a. Blackstone
b. BlackRock
c. Brookfield
d. Bridgewater

a. Blackstone. Toronto-based Tricon is a major developer of Toronto rental apartments and also owns 37,000 single-family homes in the southern United States. New York-based Blackstone bills itself as the world’s largest manager of alternative assets.

3If it’s a new year, it must be time for a new TikTok trend – such as “loud budgeting.” What in the world does this suddenly popular term mean?
a. Refusing to raise your voice, no matter what
b. Making room in your budget for one or two “loud” luxuries every month
c. Tilting your spending toward smaller, quieter pleasures
d. Being vocal about your financial choices

d. Being vocal about your financial choices. Loud budgeting is about making it clear that it’s your personal choice not to spend. Instead of going along with the crowd and spending, or not spending and blaming your decision on a lack of money, it’s about simply declaring you don’t want to spend.

4The transition to electric vehicles, or EVs, is hitting some bumps. Which of these isn’t a challenge?
a. Tesla is warning that sales growth will be “notably lower” in 2024
b. Hertz is selling a third of its electric-vehicle fleet and buying more gas-powered cars.
c. Ford and General Motors are scaling back their expansion plans for EVs.
d. The EV share of the U.S. car market is declining

d. The EV share of the U.S. car market is declining. The EV transition isn’t proceeding quite as rapidly as many hoped. Tesla’s growth is slowing, Hertz is selling some of its EVs and some automakers are backing away from ambitious goals for EV production. But, despite those hiccups, EV sales are still setting records and continue to expand their share of the overall market. They accounted for 7.6 per cent of the U.S. car market in 2023, up from 5.9 per cent the year before, according to data from Kelley Blue Book.

5Plans to build a factory near Montreal to make batteries for electric vehicles are running into fierce opposition on the ground. Northvolt, the Swedish manufacturer that is constructing the plant, says the site has been sabotaged by protestors who:
a. Planted stink bombs
b. Drove nails into trees that were going to be cut down
c. Switched road signs
d. Constructed booby traps

b. Drove nails into trees that were going to be cut down. An anonymous group claimed responsibility on an anarchist website. They said the sabotage was in protest against a project they say will destroy wetlands and perpetuate car culture.

6The Bank of Canada announced this week it would leave interest rates where they are for now. Measures of core inflation, which strip out the most volatile components, have spent most of the past year hovering:
a. Between 2.5 per cent and 3 per cent
b. Between 3.0 per cent and 3.5 per cent
c. Between 3.5 per cent and 4 per cent
d. Between 4 per cent and 4.5 per cent

c. Between 3.5 per cent and 4 per cent. Core inflation has fallen sharply since 2022 but is still running higher than the central bank’s target of 1 per cent to 3 per cent.

7Rival restaurant chains in India are in court battling over the important question of who invented:
a. Butter naan
b. Butter chicken
c. Garam masala
d. Samosas

b. Butter chicken. The family behind Moti Mahal, a famed Delhi restaurant brand, is suing rival chain Daryaganj, accusing it of falsely claiming to have invented the dish.

8Bank of America has started to send “letters of education” to employees who:
a. Aren’t showing up in the office enough
b. Are dressing too casually
c. Use marijuana
d. Oppose gender-neutral washrooms

a. Aren’t showing up in the office enough. The letters are the latest attempt in an ongoing campaign by many companies to convince remote employees to return to the office.

9It’s been a painful January for some investors. Which is the only one of the following assets to have gone up in price since New Year’s day?
a. Bitcoin
b. Tesla stock
c. Oil
d. Gold

c. Oil prices have risen this year, unlike bitcoin, gold or Tesla stock.

10Which Canadian industry has been the stock market performer over the past 30 years?
a. The big banks
b. Technology
c. Oil producers
d. Railways

d. Railways have performed the best and by a wide margin, according to a recent CIBC World Markets report. Canadian National Railway and Canadian Pacific Kansas City produced an average annual return of 15. 5 per cent over that three-decade stretch.

11Netflix shares soared this week after the streaming service reported a big jump in subscribers. For some of us, though, the big news this week was that Netflix has signed a deal to stream:
a. National Football League games
b. Women’s pro soccer
c. Canadian Football League games
d. Pro wrestling

d. Pro wrestling will start streaming next year. In a major move into live sports – or at least into live sports-like entertainment – Netflix has signed a US$5-billion, 10-year contract with TKO Group to bring Raw, the weekly WWE pro wrestling show, and other sweaty delights to its streaming lineup.

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