Honey, I’m home… in Alberta

Like when Jerry Seinfeld’s beloved Bee Movie character Barry B. Benson finally settled down with a nice florist, Canadian honeybees have found themselves a loving home.

Driving the news: Alberta may be known more for raising cattle and pumping out barrels of oil, but it’s also the province that produced nearly $105.6 million worth of honey last year — good for setting a new Canadian record, according to the CBC

To cut, or not to cut? That is the question.

Welcome back to The Peak’s Inflation Drinking Game. The first rule, take a sip (of your coffee, of course) every time you read any variation of the phrase “rate cuts.”  

What happened: U.S. inflation growth cooled once again in January, falling to 3.1% from 3.4% in December. That sounds peachy keen, but analysts expected growth to drop below 3%.

Canadian miners look to Ottawa for help

Like anyone under the age of 40 trying to buy a house, Canadian miners will need a little bit of financial help if they want to set themselves up for the future.

What happened: As prices for critical minerals like lithium and nickel plummet, miners are warning that if the federal government doesn’t step up to help fund new projects, Canada could fall behind in production to rivals like China for good, per The Globe and Mail. 

America’s economy keeps booming

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Even if it defies all logic, never underestimate the strength of the U.S. economy. 

What happened: The American economy created 353,000 jobs in January, which was *checks notes* roughly double the number expected by economists. Tom Simons, U.S. economist at Jefferies, told the Financial Times the data left him “near speechless.”

Canada is running low on babies

The latest supply shortage to hit Canada: newborns. The country’s fertility rate fell to its lowest level on record in 2022, with a paltry 1.33 children born per woman that year.

Driving the news: Fertility rates have been dropping since 2009, but briefly spiked in 2020 and 2021 when everyone was stuck inside with nothing better to do than hunker down and… you know 😏. When the world re-opened in 2022, it led to the steepest year-over-over drop since 1972 (which was spurred by the decriminalization of contraception and abortion).

Evergrande liquidation spells trouble for global economy

Like a boxer hanging on by a thread, one of China’s biggest real estate developers is being forced to throw in the towel. 

What happened: A Hong Kong court ordered China’s Evergrande, now the world’s most indebted real estate developer, to sell off assets to pay off its humongous debt of US$300 billion owed to foreign and domestic creditors — after two years of failing to restructure it. 

Chinese markets are on life support

Between the U.S. S&P 500 and China's CSI 300, which major stock index would you guess is up 20% in the past year, and which one fell by 20%?  

Answer: The CSI 300 has lost more than a third of its value since 2020 and is entering its fourth consecutive year in the red.

Car thefts are a Canadian epidemic

Thousands of Canadians have been left like a young Ashton Kutcher, dejectedly asking, “Dude, where’s my car?

Driving the news: Authorities in Italy recovered 251 stolen vehicles from Canada — ready to be shipped to the Middle East — after completing a bust at one of Europe’s busiest ports. 

BoC turns attention to rate cuts

The Bank of Canada’s path to its 2% inflation target seems to be getting a little clearer.

What happened: The BoC held the key interest rate at 5% again yesterday. According to Governor Tiff Macklem, the narrative is shifting from if the BoC will lower borrowing costs to when, with some economists predicting rate cuts by late spring. 

Stock surge could cushion broader downturn

If we’re still in a “vibecession,” someone forgot to tell the stock market — over there, things are better than ever.

What happened: The S&P500 cracked a new all-time high at the end of trading last week, closing at 4,839.81, just past the previous record set in January of 2022.