This week’s headlines: Canadian house prices are up 7%, but is it due to speculation; US growth is down; UK growth is up allaying Brexit fears; Tim Hortons could be moving to Mexico; and Alibaba buys MoneyGram.
House prices in Canada are up by 7% year-on-year as of Q3, and that growth is caused by speculation according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The federal agency issued a ‘red warding’ three months ago due to what it dubbed “problematic” conditions in the national housing market. Overvaluation and overbuilding remain major issues. Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and Hamilton are driving much of the change. Factoring out Ontario and BC, home prices remain stagnant.
US Growth Down
The US Economy grew at an annualised pace of 1.9% in Q4 of 2016, below the 2.2% predicted by economists, and nearly half of the Q3 growth rate which was 3.5%. Overall in 2016 the growth rate was just 1.6%, the slowest year since 2011.
UK Growth Up
The UK’s economy grew by 0.6% in Q4 of 2016, maintaining the same growth rate as Q2 and Q3, suggesting that the economic consequences of Brexit have thus far been negligible. For 2016 overall the British economy grew 2%, slightly down from 2.2% in 2015.
Tim Hortons will expand to Mexico in the near future according to an announcement made by the company on Friday. Last year Tim Hortons expanded into Great Britain and the Philippines.
Alibaba’s Ant Financial is set to buy MoneyGram for $880 million dependent on approval from US regulators. Eric Jin of Ant Financial said the move will “provide greater access, security and simplicity for people around the world to remit funds, especially in major economies such as the United States, China, India, Mexico and the Philippines”.
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