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Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

Daily Update: February 7, 2023

FAO: Ontario economic growth expected to slow sharply in 2023, business confidence hits record low: Ontario Chamber report, and more.

In this edition:

FAO: Ontario economic growth expected to slow sharply in 2023

Ontario’s economy rebounded rapidly from the pandemic, with real GDP rising strongly by 5.2 per cent in 2021 and an estimated 3.7 per cent in 2022, a new report from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario (FAO) has revealed today. However, facing elevated inflation, high interest rates and a weaker global environment, Ontario’s economic growth is projected to slow sharply to 0.5 per cent in 2023, and then return to close to historical averages over the rest of the outlook.

The FAO has also projected a budget deficit of $2.5 billion in 2022-23, significantly smaller than the government’s deficit projection of $12.9 billion in the FES. This $10.4 billion difference results mainly from the FAO’s lower spending projection, combined with a modestly higher revenue projection in that year.

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Business confidence hits record low: Ontario Chamber report

Business confidence has dropped to a new low according to the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s (OCC) seventh annual Ontario Economic Report (OER).

“Ontario business confidence has dropped to a record low in 2023. Labour shortages, inflation, health care system vulnerabilities, and forecasts of an economic contraction are dampening confidence in the province’s economic outlook,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO, OCC. “Only 16 percent of organizations surveyed have confidence in the economy. This is down 29 percent from last year. Promisingly, most businesses feel confident they can withstand these headwinds and continue to grow in the year ahead.”

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Canadian trade deficit narrowed in December

In December, Canada’s merchandise exports decreased 1.2%, mostly on lower exports of energy products. Meanwhile, imports were down 1.3%, mainly driven by lower imports of consumer goods. As a result, Canada’s merchandise trade deficit with the world narrowed from $219 million in November to $160 million in December. These narrow trade balances are within the typical bounds for monthly revisions to imports and exports.

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St. Catharines issues call for farmers market vendors

The City is calling on new farmers and producers to apply for a space at the 2023 St. Catharines Farmers Market.

Each spring the market expands to include outdoor spaces from May to October welcoming back farmers for the main harvest season. In addition to more market vendors, the outdoor market also features local musicians, community engagement, and an interactive Discovery Table with free and fun experiences for all ages.

Farmers Market vendors and producers can apply for a market stall at anytime before Mar. 4 to receive priority screening.

Further details on the market, including a list of existing vendors, rules and regulations, selection criteria and market stall rental rates can be found online at

Government of Canada to provide $46.2 billion in new healthcare funding

Today, the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and his provincial and territorial counterparts met to work together on improving Canada’s health care system. Prime Minister Trudeau and premiers discussed shared health priorities to deliver real results for Canadians as well as the importance to uphold the Canada Health Act to protect Canada’s publicly funded health care system. Canadians must have equitable access to medical care based on their needs, not their ability to pay, said the Prime Minister’s office in a media release.

At the working meeting with premiers, the federal government announced it will increase health funding to provinces and territories by $196.1 billion over 10 years, including $46.2 billion in new funding.

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Niagara College staff and faculty win awards for excellence

When it comes to making education more inclusive and supporting the community, Niagara College is earning recognition for leading the way.

On February 6, NC staff and faculty members won two Awards of Excellence from the Minister of Colleges and Universities. A team of staff behind the College’s open-source, digital Accessibility Hub, was presented with an award in the Equality of Opportunity category for creating opportunities for marginalized or underrepresented groups. Also honoured was Chef Professor Olaf Mertens, who was presented with an Everyday Heroes award for stepping up and making a difference through his leadership of NC’s Feed the Community initiative.

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Featured Content

Job Title Inflation

Kim Jong-un — the North Korean dictator — is not normally seen as a trendsetter; however, he clearly leads the pack in job title inflation. The BBC reports that the 37 year old has more than 1,214 different titles; titles such as President of North Korea, Chairman — State of Affairs, General Secretary of State, Executive Policy Council Chair, External General Secretary, Politburo Chief, General Secretary of State, State of Affairs Commissioner, Guardian Deity of the Planet… and the list goes on and on and on.

We are all very cognizant of economic inflation. As a matter of fact we talk and worry about it every day but, one thing we don’t realize is when it comes to job titles we live in an age of rampant inflation. It seems to me that a number of people I meet are a chief or a president in some variety. Title inflation has been producing its vocabulary for years with an abundance of “up-titling” and “title-fluffing” while producing a technological molecule. As one of my clients said to me, “there’s a simple formula; just take your current job title — mix in a few grand words such as global, international, interface, and customer and wala — you have new title. Some of the best titles I’ve heard are: Social Media Ninja, Chief Know It All, Chief Happiness Officer and Chief Scrum Master.

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Focus on Finance & Economy

Retail investors taking risk off table amid move into high-quality stocks: TMX CEO

The head of Canada’s largest stock exchange operator says he’s seeing a change in sentiment among retail investors as they take risk off the table and shift their focus to higher-quality stocks.

“What we tend to see is that trading activity, both retail and institutional in general in an uncertain market, you’ll see what I call a flight to quality in terms of more investment in higher-quality, higher-value names with more predictable earnings streams and dividend appreciation,” John McKenzie, chief executive officer of TMX Group (X.TO), told Yahoo Finance Canada in an interview.

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Consumer and business bankruptcies soar following an end to government aid

The number of insolvencies filed by Canadian businesses in 2022 surged by 37.2 per cent compared with 2021, according to the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.

There were 3,402 business insolvencies last year, up from 2,480 in 2021 according to the federal regulator. In Ontario alone, insolvencies filed by businesses was up 47.8 per cent last year compared with the year before.

Insolvencies, the inability to pay down debt, include both proposals — a formal agreement with creditors on the terms of debt repayment — and bankruptcies — when assets are surrendered in exchanged for the elimination of debts.
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Through the Daily Updates, the GNCC aims to deliver important business news in a timely manner. We disseminate all news and information we feel will be important to businesses. Inclusion in the Daily Update is not an endorsement by the GNCC.

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