Canada’s Banks Earned More than C$12bn in 2008
The Canadian economy experienced negative GDP growth in the last quarter of 2008. However, is in better shape than many developed countries. For instance, the nation’s 21 banks earned more than C$12bn last year and needed no bailout. More importantly, the government and the central bank have taken measures to improve credit availability and spending. The overnight interest rate was cut to 0.25 per cent and a C$40bn fiscal stimulus package was introduced at the end of January. The trade balance moved into deficit in December and January, but has since rebounded into the positive territory.
Australian Exports to China Will Rebound in 2009
Higher commodities prices and the rebound of demand for metals in China has been giving a big boost to the exports oriented economy of Australia. And although aussie exports are down from last year highs, they are still above its long-term average. More importantly, a considerable stimulus package and the ongoing monetary policy easing will definitely support the recovery in the next few months. In fact, since last September, 425 basis points have been waived from the benchmark interest rate and unlike in many other countries, the bulk of this reduction has been passed on the households. Moreover, household spending is being boosted by tax bonus payments and government transfers. For example, in March and April consumers received as much as A$950 ($705) in cash handouts and household disposable income was up 10 per cent in real terms.