Sharp Export Drop Squeeze Trade Surplus

1 06 2011

Article can be found here

Discussion Question:

1. Besides the ones mentioned, what are other possible factors why both export and import fell this year?

2. Why is the Canadian dollar so strong lately? If possible, should the government purposely weaken the Canadian dollar?

Canada’s deflating economy

1 06 2011

Click here for Article

Discussion questions:

1. Do you think that it was right or wrong for the government to spend so much money to kick-start the economy, even though it was increasing their debt?

2. Are there any alternatives, or recommendations you have for the Canadian government to boost the economy?

Commodity prices rise amid economic turbulence

1 06 2011

Article can be found here

Key points:

– Lately, oil price is extremely volatile due to disappointing economic data from the US and eurozone, uncertainty about a potential debt-restructure in Greece and weaker oil demand from the US, China and Japan.

-Gasoline demand is expected however to pick up in the coming weeks as Americans take to the road for their summer holidays.

-On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) or light sweet crude for July climbed to $100.35 a barrel from $97.41.

-Gold and Silver remain to be the safest investments during problematic economic times. As a result the precious metals have increased in price: on the London Bullion Market, gold jumped to $1,533 an ounce from $1,491 the previous week; Silver rose to $37.69 an ounce from $34.80.

-Chinese manufacturing eased to a 10-month low point in May, HSBC bank data showed, fuelling fears of a slowdown in the world’s number two economy.

-Prices picked up sharply on as US banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley raised their 2012 forecasts for Brent to around $130 a barrel.

-Economists said the data showed consumer spending was weaker than previously believed, with the high cost of food and fuel likely the reason.

Discussion questions:

1) Why do Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley predict that oil will be so expensive again? Is it a new rapid recovery or just an uncertainty and consequences of Arabic World instability?

2) What are other factors that can affect commodity prices this year? Make a brief forecast, according to the current conditions.