Economy News - part 7
ECONOMY June 8, 2011 | 5:24 PM
- Homeownership costs up, taking 41% of family income to buy a detached bungalow, 46% for a two-storey home and 28% for a condominium
- Major Canadian cities most affected by the increase, including Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Calgary
- Homeowners with a down payment of less than 20% must buy government-backed mortgage insurance
- CREA predicts housing prices will increase 4% this year
Is the dream of home ownership becoming out of reach for Canadians? An RBC economics report revealed that, on the whole, home ownership became less affordable for Canadians in the first three months of 2011.
Taking mortgages, property taxes and utilities into account, it took nearly 41% of family income (up by 0.7%) to own a detached bungalow, over 46% to own a two-storey home (up by 0.2%) and 28% to own a condominium (up by 0.2%).Read more »
ECONOMY June 8, 2011 | 11:40 AM
- Emissions of greenhouse gases in Canada down by nearly 6%
- Greenhouse gas emissions were 17% higher in 2009 than in 1990 despite the signing of the Kyoto Protocol
- Calgary ranks 5th highest out of 50 global cities in carbon dioxide production, producing 17.7 tons of carbon dioxide per capita
Is there hope for the environment? According to a report submitted by Environment Canada to the UN Framework on Climate Change in May, Canadian greenhouse gas emission levels decreased for the second year in a row. The global recession, as well as the reduced use of coal for energy generation, contributed to a decline of approximately 6% (comparable to 42 megatons of carbon dioxide) between 2008 and 2009.
Back in 1997, Canada was one of several countries to sign the Kyoto Protocol – an international agreement addressing global warming linked to increased emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. At that time Canada committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 6% below 1990 levels of 590 megatons over the five-year-period spanning 2008 to 2012.Read more »
ECONOMY June 2, 2011 | 5:09 PM
- Brazil sets 2014 date to eliminate extreme poverty
- "Brazil Without Poverty" scheme aims to send financial aid to the poorest areas of Brazil
- Social welfare initiatives have brought 20 million people out of extreme poverty in the last decade
The Brazilian government has launched a new social welfare initiative that aims to bring millions of citizens out of extreme poverty by 2014.
President Dilma Rousseff said the main objective of her government is to help these people achieve a reasonable standard of living.Read more »
ECONOMY June 1, 2011 | 11:54 AM
- UK reveals more on Green Deal energy efficiency incentive scheme for homeowners
- Measures will allow people to finance up to £10,000 of energy efficiency measures
- 25 million homes to be upgraded by 2030
The UK government has given more information about its new Green Deal initiative, that aims to make UK homes more energy efficient.
Due to be launched next autumn, it will allow homeowners to finance as much as £10,000 of insulation renovations in order to reduce power consumption. Certified companies will foot the bill for the installation, and property owners will reimburse the loans, with interest, through charges added to their electricity bills.Read more »
ECONOMY May 31, 2011 | 10:48 AM
- 1,745,000 (14%) Canadian households have a net worth of $1 million or more
- Among the ultra-wealthy, worth over $30 million, 21% of their net worth was found in their homes
- Luxury home market is booming, particularly in Vancouver
The Millionaire Next Door?This American book title aptly describes the 1,745,000 Canadian households, or one out of every seven households, found by a Deloitte Centre for Financial Services study on global wealth to have net assets of $1 million or more.
Individuals with net assets of over $5 million totaled 199,000, or one out of every 65 households in Canada. Among this group, the ultra-wealthy, worth over $30 million, numbered 17,000, or 1% of millionaires.Read more »
ECONOMY May 29, 2011 | 11:51 AM
- Japanese consumer confidence index falls to 33.1 in April compared to 38.6 in March, following earthquake and tsunami
- Consumer willingness index to buy durable goods fell from 38.8 to 32.9
- Japanese government net debt forecasts for 2013 revised up to 145% of GDP
Confidence among Japanese consumers continued its sharp decline, following on from the earthquake and tsunami that battered the country in March.
The consumer confidence index fell for the third month in a row, with March figures of 38.6 falling to 33.1 in April – the fastest rate of decline since records began in 2004. An index below 50 shows overwhelming consumer pessimism.Read more »
ECONOMY May 27, 2011 | 4:20 PM
- One tenth of the world’s phones are sold in India, with 19 million new subscribers every month
- India records 680,000 transactions worth nearly $13.6 million per month via mobile phones
- Mobile banking increases financial inclusivity, spurs trade and boosts economic growth
- 39 banks are licensed to offer mobile banking services in India
Mobile banking could help millions of Indians without access to financial services, according to industry experts. It has the potential of transforming peoples’ livelihoods in rural and other marginalized areas of India. However a few still bottlenecks exist, such as illiteracy, lack of awareness, apprehension and limited or no banking infrastructure in rural areas.
Around 775 million people in India own mobile phones, with 19 million new subscribers adding to that number monthly. According to Gartner technology research specialists, one tenth of the world’s phones are sold in India. In contrast, almost 50% of India’s adult population does not have a bank account. The mobile platform presents the easiest and fastest channel of bringing the millions of unbanked Indians into the country’s mainstream banking system; therefore, the potential for mobile banking uptake is quite huge.Read more »
ECONOMY May 25, 2011 | 6:15 PM
- A new report calls for clean energy revolution in Australia before 2020, says investment needed in renewable energy
- Current emissions are 37% higher than in 1990
- Political and social opposition to climate science in Australia remain strong
A new report from Australia’s Climate Commission says the world must act soon to avoid serious climate events brought on by global warming.
Will Steffen, author of "The Critical Decade: Climate science, risks and responses", said that Australia needs to undergo a green energy revolution before 2020 to reduce the risk of irreparable damage to the environment.Read more »
ECONOMY May 19, 2011 | 11:45 AM
- Washington Governor Chris Gregoire wants $3 million in federal Workforce Investment Act funds to go to aerospace training programs
- Gregoire hopes training will benefit 228,000 jobless in Washington
- Boeing plans to add thousands of new workers in next few years
Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington wants to use $3 million in federal funds to go toward aerospace training in her state. Using the Workforce Investment Act funds, Governor Gregoire wants to re-train 500 workers and lead to the hiring of many more by encouraging education in aerospace technology and engineering.
Governor Gregoire has discretion over how to use 10% of the state's Workforce Investment Act money. This will be the first time she has ever used all of her discretionary money in one industry.Read more »
ECONOMY May 18, 2011 | 5:35 PM
- China's inflation rate has fallen from a three-year high of 5.4% in March to 5.3% in April
- Chinese interest rates could be slashed over the course of the year
- Calming of China's monetary policy will be noticeable in the final quarter
China's expansionary monetary policy has been the primary cause behind recent price hikes. Food prices in particular have been a main contributor to the nation's high inflation.
In March, China's annual inflation rate was at a three-year high of 5.4%. Last month's inflation rate dropped slightly, clocking in at 5.3%. The National Bureau of Statistics has stated that factory output has fallen more than 1% below the March figure and is significantly lower than economists' calculations. In April, anger over rising fuel prices led to three days of protests in Shanghai.Read more »