TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week:
Bank of Canada rate announcement
The Bank of Canada will make its next interest rate announcement on Wednesday. The central bank is widely expected by economists to keep its key interest target on hold at 4.5 per cent, but the statement that will accompany the rate decision will be scrutinized for any indications of the bank’s plans for the rest of the year. Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Rogers will give a speech and take questions on Thursday in Winnipeg.
Grocers in the hot seat
Top executives from Loblaw Companies Ltd., Empire Company Ltd. and Metro Inc. will appear in front of the House of Commons standing committee on agriculture to answer questions of food price inflation on Wednesday afternoon. The grocers have been under scrutiny as the rising price of food has outpaced overall inflation in recent months.
Economists will be looking for signs of how the economy started the year when Statistics Canada releases its January figures for international merchandise trade on Wednesday. Canada posted a merchandise trade deficit of $160 million in December as both exports and imports fell compared with November.
Maple Leaf results
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. will report its fourth-quarter results and hold a conference call with financial analysts and investors on Thursday. The company was hit by a cybersecurity incident in November that caused a system outage. Maple Leaf lost $229.5 million in its third quarter as it took a one-time charge related to the value of its plant protein business.
Statistics Canada will offer its latest look at the jobs market on Friday when it releases its labour force survey for February. The Canadian economy added 150,000 jobs in January as the unemployment rate held steady at five per cent.