Every week we bring you the world’s biggest travel, currency, and business stories. This week: a new $10 note, Canadian jobs, housing market, low unemployment in the US, and misleading websites.
The Bank of Canada has revealed a commemorative $10 banknote marking the 150th anniversary of Canada. They feature Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier, Agnes MacPhail, and James Gladstone. On the reverse the bills have landscapes from around Canada including the Prairies, northern lights, the Canadian Shield and Lions and Capilano Lake in BC. 40 million of these special notes will be printed. This is not the only planned change for Canadian currency. Earlier this year, as part of International Women’s Day 2017 we highlighted the fact that Viola Desmond will be the new face of the $10 in 2018.
Canada adds jobs
Canada added 19,400 jobs in March, but the unemployment rate still ticked up from 6.6% to 6.7% as more people began looking for work. In February the unemployment rate hit its lowest point since 2008. Recent economic performance has surprised economists, most of whom had predicted an increase of about 5,000 jobs. Manufacturing led the way by adding 24,400 jobs last month the largest increase in the sector since 2002.
Housing Market Concern
David McKay, CEO of RBC has expressed his concern over the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets and even suggesting that government intervention should be encouraged. McKay argues that as more money gets locked into real estate less investment is available elsewhere, which could cause serious issues in the future. The culprits behind soaring prices are, according to the CBC “an imbalance in supply and demand for residential properties, low interest rates, and speculative activity.”
US Unemployment at record low
Unemployment in the US has fallen to the lowest level in nearly 10 years thanks to an increase in 98,000 jobs. The figure is almost half of the 180,000 jobs economists had predicted would be created, but still enough to push the unemployment rate down from 4.7% to 4.5%. The US economy needs to create over 75,000 jobs per month to keep pace with number of new job seekers entering the economy. Low unemployment is one factor that can encourage central banks to raise interest rates, which strengthens currency. Anything under 5% is considered at or near full employment.
Misleading Travel Sites
The Consumer Protection Cooperation body, part of the EU, found that travel sites were misleading consumers by advertising low prices which were unavailable once visitors tried to make a booking. Over 230 websites were identified and will be forced to make changes in compliance with the EU’s findings. Canadian travellers may not benefit from the changes but the story should serve as a warning to be skeptical of low prices. For more travel tips check out continentalcurrency.ca/travel-tips/.
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