- Canadians fret over finances
- Stocks, loonie, oil at a glance
- What to expect from the Fed today
- St. Joseph to buy Rogers magazines
- EU fines Google €1,49-billion
- From today’s Globe and Mail
Canadians are most worried about “making ends meet” and, further down the road, financial security when they’re old, an OECD survey shows.
These are among the top findings of a global poll on social and economic risks released by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
And they’re in line with findings in Canada in this climate of such economic uncertainty.
“Canadians are most worried, in the short run, about making ends meet,” the OECD said in releasing results of the survey of 22,000 people in 21 countries, conducted last year.
“Fifty-one per cent of Canadians say that struggling to meet daily expenses, despite working, is a top three concern.”
Other concerns include falling ill or disabled, and losing their job within two years.
Longer term, the main concern is similar in that it relates to getting by.
“When looking beyond the next decade, pensions are by far the most common concern for Canadians, as they are in every country surveyed,” the OECD said.
“Sixty-seven per cent of people in Canada list ‘financial security in old age’ as a top three long-term risk.”
Other concerns in this category include not doing as well as their parents and making sure of long-term care for their families.
And here’s an interesting finding: About 34 per cent believe they “could easily access public benefits if they needed them,” a better showing than in any other country.
“Across countries, only 20 per cent of respondents feel they could access benefits if needed,” the OECD said.
- Rob Carrick: This is why Canadians are so stressed out about money despite good economic times
- ‘You may not be as rich as you think’: Canadian families face a long road back to financial health
- Tim Shufelt: Canadian household debt to income ratio rises to historical high, Statistics Canada says
- Many Canadians say they’ll have to tap RRSPs, take second mortgages, sell assets as debt burden rises
- ‘The worm is turning’: More Canadians are going broke, defaulting on their debts
- Growing debt loads weighing on growth, opening up vulnerabilities, Bank of Canada deputy warns
Markets at a glance
What to watch for today
Markets are watching for just how patient the Federal Reserve expects to be.
The U.S. central bank is expected to hold the key fed funds rate steady in the afternoon after having signalled a pause in its hiking cycle.
It won't be just the decision, but also fresh projections from individual members of the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee and a news conference with chair Jerome Powell that investors will be watching.
"The shift in the Fed’s tone following the January FOMC meeting could hardly have been more pronounced," said Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
“In the face of financial market volatility and a sharper-than-expected slowdown in global growth, Fed officials not only pledged in the post-meeting statement to be ‘patient’ in respect to future policy changes, but they also removed the previous reference to ‘further gradual increases’ in the fed funds rate,” he added In a lookahead to the decision.
"Developments since that meeting will only have reinforced the Fed’s more cautious stance. Admittedly, financial conditions have eased in recent weeks, with credit spreads narrowing and the S&P 500 close to a record high again. At the same time, however, the global backdrop has continued to deteriorate."
Economic indicators from China and Europe have been soft, Mr. Hunter noted, while some from the U.S. have illustrated "clear signs of weakness."
Markets will be watching closely for the rate path expected among individual Fed officials, something known as the "dot plot," which is expected to show a slower timeline than last time out.
Some investors have even pondered the possibility of a rate cut at some point.
“We’ll be honing in on the statement for any clues on whether they have gone as far as markets in seeing a potential need to actually cut rates,” said CIBC World Markets chief economist Avery Shenfeld.
"That would require a massive swing from the 'dot plots' from December, which still showed three further rate hikes on the way."
Besides the Fed decision, Power Corp., Power Financial Corp. and Westshore Terminals Investment Corp. report results.
- Christine Dobby: St. Joseph Communications to buy Rogers magazines
- Google fined €1.49 billion by EU for blocking rival advertising
From today’s Globe and Mail
- Ian McGugan: Bond market sends scary signal about where Canada’s economy is heading vs. the U.S.
- Barrie McKenna, Janet McFarland: Federal budget 2019: Ottawa targets housing affordability with zero-interest loans, subsidies
- Rob Carrick: Federal budget 2019: Liberals offer some help in resolving one of the country’s biggest personal-finance challenges