Currency exchange rates are intrinsically linked to the global economy. That’s why every week at theCurrent we bring you the world’s biggest business stories. This week: GM hires Canadian engineers for autonomous car program, house prices in Canada are unstable, fruit and vegetable prices hurting poor Canadians, Walmart disputes fees with Visa.
Canada’s hurting auto manufacturing industry got a big injection from GM last week. The American auto giant announced that they would be increasing the number of software engineers it employes in Canada to 1 000 in order to develop the software behind its self-driving cars. GM will also invest $10 million into its cold weather testing site in Kapuskasing, Ontario. Despite the good news, there are still no new commitments to build vehicles in Canada. Last year that it was announced that GM would be shutting down one of its Oshawa plants, while the other plant still has not been allocated any vehicles.
House prices unstable
According to Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz during the Bank of Canada’s biennial Financial System Review, homeowners shouldn’t bank on housing prices to continue to grow indefinitely. “If prices are going up because people expect prices to go up, then that, of course, is probably unsustainable …,” Poloz told reporters. “And so those expectations will not be realized longer term.” House prices have grown 30% in Vancouver, and 15% in Toronto this year.
Fruit and vegetable prices are also on the rise, increasing 11% since April 2015. And according to the University of Guelph, low income consumers are eating less fresh fruit and vegetables due to the high prices.
Walmart dispute vis-a-vis credit cards
Walmart Canada will no longer accept Visa as the two corporate giants battle over fees. The company will continue to accept Mastercard. The company claims to pay “over $100 million in fees to accept credit cards each and every year.”
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